Samara O'Shea

Britannica No More

It’s been announced that after 244 years Encyclopedia Britannica will no longer print encyclopedias in volumes. The information will exist in digital form only. This is sad because it’s the end of a very long era. For the sake of the environment, however, I fully support this decision.

People writing letters to each other is different because there is an emotional factor and it results in a personal legacy. It goes without saying that there is still value in this. Plus individuals do not produce anywhere near the amount of paper that companies do. Printing encyclopedias, telephone books, and dictionaries is no longer necessary. My heart breaks every time a new phone book shows up on my doorstep. Really? I think. I can’t bring myself to throw it away but I know I will never use it.

I still believe in printing books because a book does not contain information that can be Googled in an instant. It contains the unique point of view or the imaginative story of the author. But as we can see books are headed in the digital direction, too. I think bound books and kindle-type gadgets will exist side by side for the next few decades. I read both and enjoy both. When I travel, it’s the light Kindle I want with me. Cozy in my home, I prefer a book in hand (and a pen to underline favorite phrases!)