Remember Encyclopaedia Britannica? The alphabetical volume of reference books given out as the grand prize on Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, Double Dare and every early ‘90s kids game show? Probably not, because even by the late ‘90s, Microsoft’s Encarta CD-ROMs had rendered them obsolete. And then Wikipedia rendered that obsolete.
So, very unsurprisingly, the Britannica books will be no more, resigned to solely an online existence. It’ll probably come as a bigger surprise to you that the books were still being produced.
First published 244 years ago, the last edition actually came in 2010, its 32 volumes weighing an impractical 129 pounds (How the hell do you ship this?) and costing an even more impractical $1,395.
Oh yeah, a study years ago found that Britannica books made an average of three errors per entry, to Wikipedia’s four. Wikipedia, as you might recall, is free.
[via New York Times]