Before he spent a year following every single rule in the Bible, and before he used his life as an experiment, A. J. Jacobs read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica from A to Z and wrote about his experiences in The Know-It All. This is a feat not likely to be repeat since the Encyclopedia Britannica has ceased to print actual copies of the encyclopedia.
The Know-It-All is not a book about the Encyclopedia. Rather, it is the story of the experiences of a man who decides to read the Encyclopedia. Jacobs often refers to the facts he learns, usually in the context of something related to his life experiences, or some odd fact he did not know before.
The Know-It-All is an interesting and funny peek into the life of a man who wants to make himself smarter. By his account, Jacobs turns into something of an annoying know-it-all by spouting off trivia at any occasion. Reading the encyclopedia is probably not the best way to try to know it all, Still Jacobs found that the more facts he learned, the more he began to see the connections between seemingly disparate subjects. and in the end he managed to obtain a bit of wisdom to go along with all of those facts.
- Encyclopedia Britannica No Longer Printed (davidscommonplacebook.wordpress.com)
- The lasting appeal of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica (teleread.com)
- Why Encyclopedia Britannica mattered – CNN.com (digitalliteracynh.wordpress.com)