Today marks the end of the printed edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica.
After 244 years as prime source of information on paper for many in the English speaking world they gave up. The remaining stock will be sold, that’s it.
They will now compete with Wikipedia in the digital world.
And as an indication how far behind EB is: I went to wikipedia first to look up information about EB. Only on second thought did I decide, that it would be quite ironic to link to the wiki site of EB, instead of its own website.
Quite naturally that leads to the question, will books in general prevail?
I had pointed out earlier on diablog, that and how reading habits have changed.
Books as a storage medium for information? I don’t think that will last. We aren’t using stone, clay, slate, pig skin or other older media anymore, are we?
As information storage medium, books will follow the path of floppy disks. Just ask your kids, what this is:
They will answer: That’s the Save Button in every computer program. But they have actually never used one of these
to save any information and maybe don’t even know what those are.
Similar to them using “cc:” in electronic communication, neither knowing that it stands for carbon copy, nor what that actually is.
But books have other benefits, other values and serve other purposes, than just storing information.