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News Wed Mar 14 2012

Encyclopaedia Britannica To End Print Editions

On Tuesday, Chicago-based Encyclopaedia Britannica announced it will cease publication of its yearly 32-volume set, switching to a completely online format.

"I understand that for some the end of the Britannica print set may be perceived as an unwelcomed goodbye to a dear, reliable, and trustworthy friend that brought them the joy of discovery in the quest for knowledge," Encyclopaedia Britannica president Jorge Cruz said. "At Encyclopaedia Britannica we believe that the announcement...is of great significance, not for what it says about our past, but for what it projects about our vibrant present and future as a digital provider of general knowledge and instructional services. Today our digital database is much larger than what we can fit in the print set, and it is up to date because we can revise it within minutes anytime we need to, and we do it many times each day."

The 2010 edition is the company's last print edition, according to cnet.com. The entire set costs $1,395 and only 8,000 copies have been sold; 4,000 remaining copies have been warehoused until sold. Encyclopaedia Britannica's sales peaked in 1990 with the sale of 120,000 sets, just before the boom of the Internet.

 
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Book Club is the literary section of Gapers Block, covering Chicago's authors, poets and literary events. More...

Editor: Andrew Huff, ah@gapersblock.com
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