Does anyone remember encyclopedias? Do they still exist? If so, does anybody use them?
Encyclopedias are a set of about 20ish, identical-looking, hardcover books. Each letter of the alphabet has its own volume, and the letters that don’t have many entries are grouped into one book. So, for example, topics beginning with XYZ might take up a volume.
Basically, encyclopedias were what Google and especially Wikipedia are now. If you needed to do research, you used an encyclopedia. If you wanted to know more about a particular subject, you used the encyclopedia. As you can imagine, these were a pain to use because you had to carry around several volumes, usually, in your school bag and it was all so clunky. And unlike Wikipedia, they didn’t cover as many topics.
Every year or two, the encyclopedias were replaced by a new set, which were edited to include more topics, change any sort of recorded stats, basically update information. I don’t know what people did with their old encyclopedias. My own family didn’t have them, so I don’t know. I don’t think there were many recycling programs back then (the 70s). Maybe they were donated? Ha! We could probably Google it to find out!
Did you have and/or use encyclopedias when you were growing up?