I’m Going to Miss You, Encyclopedia

… I remember pulling out volumes to read as a kid just so I could learn something new and random. Whether it was HIR.-IND. or KAO.-LIN., you always had something good to say. You sat on the shelves of my childhood home, packed with all sorts of knowledge that proved to have no practical role in my everyday life, but was useful nonetheless, as all knowledge is.

I sought you out when I had nothing to read. I sought you out when I had something to read, but I wanted to read something else. I sought you out when I wanted to know something just for the sake of knowing it. I sought you out to smell the deep wisdom of your pages.

Ah, Encyclopedia. The news early this year that you will no longer be published in print editions was inevitable, if not overdue, and since I don’t own a single set, I have no wiggle room to bemoan the fact that you will no longer line heavy bookshelves. But I remember you well. Times are always changing, and that’s a good thing; so instead of flipping through your well-organized alphabetical tabs, I will type in the search engine and wait three seconds for the knowledge.

But it’s not quite the same.


0 Replies to “I’m Going to Miss You, Encyclopedia”

  1. For me, it was the World Book. It saw me through 25 years of writing movies for television. When I downsized to a tiny cottage recently it was among the things that had to go. I contacted libraries, schools, all the places I could think of, and no one wanted it. They all said to just throw it out. I was crestfallen at the thought. On a whim, I put an ad on Craigslist under free items. A nice young man contacted me and said he wanted it for his younger sister because he wanted her to experience real books. I was thrilled to able to find it a new home, but if I could have kept it I would have.

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