I spotted this on Facebook:
And my first response was owned? Past tense?
Whereas I do have a bunch of specialty encyclopedia sets, like The Book of Popular Science, The Complete Handyman Do-It-Yourself Encyclopedia, the Time-Life Old West series (okay, the last is a stretch), I don’t actually have a set of general interest encyclopedia like the World Book, Encyclopedia Britannica, or Funk and Wagnalls.
So, suddenly, of course I want one.
The World Book was the Internet of my day before the Internet. I remember spending at least one Saturday afternoon with my brother, reading all the Greek and Roman mythology articles hypolinked with See and See Also references. Now, of course, you can do the same thing with Wikipedia.
I don’t remember seeing a collection encyclopedias at a book sale in recent years–but of course, I have not actively looked for them, so they might have just escaped my notice.
But we are coming to the right number of decades from their heyday and popularity that they’ve already been cleaned out of homes with no children or grandchildren to use them.
Also, I would imagine book sales are loath to touch them as I cannot imagine that anyone would buy them in this day and age. However, I’m hopeful to stumble across a set at a church sale somewhere along the line. Because now that I know they’re gone, I miss them.
Kind of like how you don’t see old computers in garage sales any more. Thirty years after that old Commodore was put in the basement or the closet, it’s already gone into a garage sale or garbage can by now–or into the hands of collectors or dealers. You don’t even see old computers and whatnot in antique malls.
Ah, how things slip away, and we don’t even see them go.