My mom worked at a high school and I was lucky enough to have her get the older, discarded encyclopedias for me, which included some Encyclopedia Britannica editions and World Book (which I preferred). I loved reading them and having them for reference despite them being older; I mean, how much did the entry for "aardvark" really change over 10 years.

I've always been an info junkie and I'm sure that having random books, encyclopedias, and oddly enough, a steady subscription to TV Guide (their prime time grid is my earliest memory of a type of infographic) probably helped. (Oh yeah, shout out to the Phoenix Public Library's Bookmobile which kept me laced up with a diet of Garfield, Calvin & Hobbes, and Bloom County compilations!)

With the internet, encyclopedias are totally impractical, but man, I don't know if I could have dealt with all of the inevitable distractions that come with being online when I was a kid.

So, for me, it's kind of sad to see the physical editions of Encyclopedia Brittanica die out.
My childhood was richer because we had an encyclopedia at home. It wasn’t the ultra-expensive Encyclopedia Britannica, but rather the thinner but more modestly priced World Book. My school library had a full Britannica set, and I spent countless hours immersed in both. They were among my favorite windows into ideas and the larger world, and a mainstay of my academics until college.

Today I cannot imagine why a parent – or school – would buy any encyclopedia in book form. That’s why my only surprise at hearing that Britannica will no longer be printed is that the decision took so long to make.
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