Just a small post this time to acknowledge the fact that yesterday marked the end of the paper based version of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. The series of heavy books that have now been consigned to the pre-digital age after a print run of over 200 years. Some people will, I'm sure, react with sadness to Britannica's passing, but for the forward looking amongst us, it is a step in the right direction.
As a child we never had the Encyclopaedia Britannica in our house, but just like Soda-Streams, fondue sets, and swinging parties, you always knew someone who did!
These days 32 thick volumes takes up a lot of room on a book shelf, (4 feet 4 inches to be precise!) and with people struggling to buy large houses and those who do have large houses rapidly downsizing, it make much more sense to move with the times and resort to a digital only library.
For people like me who are, at heart, closet minimalists, it is very tempting to get rid of paper books entirely and try to get everything in digital form. But there are some out of print books that will never appear online, and scanning an entire book is more hassle than it's worth. So my shelves still carry the books I most like to read, or am interested in reading, and I trim them down continually.
I still have boxes of VHS and Betamax tapes left over from a previous age, and like the books, it is hard to part with them because the cost of replacing everything with the DVD version would be high, and so they stay in their boxes, unwatched, forgotten, and testament to rapidly moving technology.
Maybe some day the entire sum of human knowledge will be available to be plugged into the back of your head on some future device, or a book you want to read will be available to download and appear as if projected in front of your eyes by running your hand over a scanner, but for me, even with my minimalist tendancies, there are few things more pleasurable than a rainy day, a fresh coffee, and a brand-new eagerly-awaited book to while away a few relaxed hours.
So Bye Bye paper Encyclopaedia Brittanica. Technology like time, waits for no one.