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Thread: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

  1. #1
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    Default Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    We are hoping to leave them a big one.
    Maybe 2-300 lbs of books A to Z. Only the best books.

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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    it would have been fitting. . .



    Yeah, that was the set we had.
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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    Encylo-what?
    I can still remember the alphabetic indexing on the set at home, when I was a kid.
    A-BON, BOO-DEW, DIA-GRAP, GRAS-LOM, LON-PAP, PAR-SOP, SOU-ZWI.
    If that isn't a waste of neurons, I don't know what is .
    Our kids will never inherit a single volume! The entire set was binned years ago.

    Pete
    Don't underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers!

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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    I don't have kids, but will give a set of World Book Encyclopedias to anyone that wants to pick them up or pay for shipping.

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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    I think we have three sets laying around. Their time has passed. But I feel lucky I grew up in a home full of books.
    Ragnar B.

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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    I don't have kids, but I hope to leave kids in general a large and mostly yet-unread encyclopedia. 500 species of birds, 301 of fish, and many other volumes.

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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    When my daughters moved out I was so bummed that Goodwill wouldn’t take my set or the two volume OED. They’re an artifact of the last century. If you store them make sure they can’t get moldy. I threw out a lot of books mydad had stored in an uninsulated garage.

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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    There this new craze. All the kids are doing it. It’s called the


    INTERNET
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    My kids looked through the Encyclopedia set at their great grands. MLK Jr wasn’t even an entry. (Because the info is that old...)

    Peace,
    Ooh, That Smell...

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    Damn right I am - an 11th edition Encyclopedia Britannica from 1911 that I found at a garage sale and paid 50 cents for (really). It;'san amazing thing, really from the end of the long 19th century, with a lot of the articles written by pretty serious scholars at the time when the ideas of Progress and Advancement and Optimism hadn't yet been lost somewhere in the mud of the western front. My son will probably take them; he likes that kind of thing. And it's fabulous if you want to know about, say, the Portuguese revolution of 1910, or more generally how educated westerners thought about things 110 years ago.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    Damn right I am - an 11th edition Encyclopedia Britannica from 1911 that I found at a garage sale and paid 50 cents for (really). It's an amazing thing, really from the end of the long 19th century, with a lot of the articles written by pretty serious scholars at the time when the ideas of Progress and Advancement and Optimism hadn't yet been lost somewhere in the mud of the Western Front. My son will probably take them; he likes that kind of thing. And it's fabulous if you want to know about, say, the Portuguese revolution of 1910, or more generally how educated westerners thought about things 110 years ago.

    (Source)

    The magic of Encyclopedia Britannica's 11th edition
    Representing a peak of colonial optimism before the slaughter of war, the 1910/11 edition has acquired an almost mythic reputation among collectors

    Nate Pedersen - Tue 10 Apr 2012

    As the last sets of the Encyclopedia Britannica prepare to sink into obscurity, there's one edition that will always remain a collector's item: the 11th. Published between 1910 and 1911, the 11th edition continues to inspire a religious reverence from its loyal adherents. The siren call of its 28 leather-bound volumes works a subtle magic on antiquarians, historians, booksellers, and scholars around the world.

    So, why the appeal? AJ Jacobs, an American journalist, read his way through the entirety of the 15th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica published in 2002. He wrote about his experience in the well-received book The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World. I spoke with Jacobs about the lasting appeal of the 11th. He said that "compared to more modern editions, reading the 11th is like reading a Faulkner novel instead of an instruction manual."

    The 11th is exceptionally well written, the first encyclopedia where readability was courted in addition to scholarship. But its durability goes deeper than that.

    Jacobs continued, "I think Hans Koning of the New Yorker nailed the appeal 30 years ago. He said it was the last great work of the age of reason, the final instance when all human knowledge could be presented with a single point of view. Four years later, the confidence and optimism that had produced the 11th would be, as he puts it, 'a casualty in the slaughter at Ypres and the Argonne.'"

    And he's right. To open an 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica is to open a worldview lost forever in the staggering slaughter of the first world war. The 11th edition of the Britannica represents the high tide of optimism and belief in human progress that had dominated the Anglo-Saxon vision since the Enlightenment.

    Unabashed optimism – and unabashed racism – pervades many entries in the 11th, and provide its defining characteristics. The Edwardian world was finely ordered in the way an encyclopedia needs the world to be finely ordered: everything, and everyone, in their place. Interpreted for you by the rich, the white, and the expensively educated.

    The entry on antisemitism states that it is "a passing phase in the history of culture". This was written 30 years before the horrors of Nazi Germany. The Vietnamese are the "worst-built and ugliest of all the Indo-Chinese," while the Chinese are "inferior in character" to Europeans. Arabs are noted for a propensity to be "cruel" and "crafty," and Africans "appear to stand on a lower evolutionary plane than the white man".

    Despite its occasional ugliness, the reputation of the 11th persists today because of the staggering depth of knowledge contained with its volumes. It is especially strong in its biographical entries. These delve deeply into the history of men and women prominent in their eras who have since been largely forgotten – except by the historians, scholars, and antiquarian booksellers who champion the 11th for this quality.

    It's among antiquarian booksellers that the 11th enjoys its highest reputation. Norman Kane, an American rare book dealer of over 50 years experience, only recently parted ways with his 11th, and that decision was a reluctant result of a cross-country move. "The [index] is full of names that resonate in all fields of the arts and sciences. People whose books we sell every day. More recent editions have lost, I believe, much of the antiquarian flavour that recommends it to us. We are after all more interested in the out-of-date than in the up-to-date."

    Among those resonating names are TH Huxley, Alfred North Whitehead, Algernon Swinburne and Peter Kropotkin. Fifteen hundred men and an impressive (by Edwardian standards) 200 women contributed articles to the 11th edition, which was edited by Hugh Chisholm. Under his editorship, the Britannica combined scholarship and readability in a way no previous encyclopedia ever had – and, arguably, no encyclopedia has been able to repeat. Chisholm also revolutionised encyclopedia publishing by releasing the first 14 volumes in the autumn of 1910 and the second 14 volumes, along with an index, in the spring of 1911. The volumes in previous editions were released as they were completed, with years passing between publication of the first and final volumes. Under the new model, the entire Britannica was assembled before crucial articles went out of date.

    With the publication of the final volumes of the 11th, in the spring of 1911, came the last stand of the Enlightenment. One year later the Titanic would strike an iceberg. Three years later, Franz Ferdinand was assassinated. Five years later, a staggering 1.25m people would die in the Battle of the Somme. And the world would never be the same.

    When viewed in that light, the worn leather volumes of the 11th acquire an almost mythic quality. Its pages contain all the knowledge of a world on the brink of deep and everlasting change. And that is why the 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica will outlast all the others.
    Last edited by Keith Wilson; 01-24-2020 at 09:06 AM.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    Quote Originally Posted by mizzenman View Post
    But I feel lucky I grew up in a home full of books.
    Me, too. We weren't exactly poor, but raising three kids - two with health issues and one a budding musician - on a postal clerk's pittance of a salary in the late 'fifties didn't leave much cash laying around. The one thing that my folks thought important enough to live frugally for was books. The three or four encyclopedia sets I grew up with are still at my Dad's house, including a set of the 'Richard's Topical' shown in the OP, the Time-Life 'Science' series, about six or seven dictionaries (Webster's Universal, Merriam-Webster, etc.), hundreds of books from Book of the Month Club Classics, Time, Newsweek, National Geographic, etc. It seems a bit unnecessary to say that we kids were encouraged to read...
    Last edited by mmd; 01-24-2020 at 10:15 AM.
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    Don’t get me wrong. We have an encyclopedic collection of reference material. Trees, rocks, birds, space, oceans, whatever. We have maps and atlases, too.

    Written and printed this century.

    We have old books, too. But those are entertainment. Also, old globes. The kids were confused by the name Formosa.

    Peace,
    Encyclopedia Brown

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    The kids were confused by the name Formosa.
    As someday our descendants will be confused by 'Yugoslavia' and the 'Soviet Union' . And why is Germany in two parts?
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    I like atlases.

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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    As someday our descendants will be confused by 'Yugoslavia' and the 'Soviet Union' . And why is Germany in two parts?
    Oh, so that’s normal? Whew. Thanks, Captain Obvious.

    Peace,
    Robert

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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    Quote Originally Posted by lupussonic View Post
    I like atlases.
    We collect them. My wife’s grandfather worked for the county, and gave Quad a bunch of old maps he had saved back of the county. It’s neat to see it change over time.

    My kids love maps and charts. We make them, too.

    Peace,
    Robert

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    My 12 year old daughter asked for encyclopedias for Christmas. given that she can't walk by a shampoo bottle without reading it, a(nother) shelf full of books would not be good, really...

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    Quote Originally Posted by mizzenman View Post
    I think we have three sets laying around. Their time has passed. But I feel lucky I grew up in a home full of books.
    My parents very kindly bought a set in my youth. I used the heck out of them. Then I passed them on to my brothers four kids... who used the heck out of them. All pre-internet. Now, they gather dust in a back bookshelf at his house. One never knows, though. A Canticle for Liebowitz, anyone??
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    Oh, so that’s normal? Whew. Thanks, Captain Obvious.
    Geez, that'll teach me to agree with you.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    Leave my kid a 'cycolpedia? hell no, he can walk to school like the rest of the kids
    Elect a clown expect a circus

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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    We were living in Whittier CA. 1954 or thereabouts. The Encyclopedia Britanica salesman came to the house and conferred with my parents. It was delivered in 3 or 4 boxes, each volume wrapped in brown paper. The wooden bookcase had a slot in the top which held the atlas. We lugged it around through 5 moves. It never got unpacked the last time. It sat in boxes in the basement. The cat peed on it.
    Carpe Librum!

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    As someday our descendants will be confused by 'Yugoslavia' and the 'Soviet Union' . And why is Germany in two parts?
    And in 1910...Germany had a lot more than two parts! Prussia, Bavaria, Baden?
    What is that?
    I need a shower.

    (I wonder what the 1910-11 Brittanica has to say about the intellect of the negro?)

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Geez, that'll teach me to agree with you.
    Wait. I thought smileys made us weak?

    I simply cannot keep up.

    Peace,
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  25. #25
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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    And in 1910...Germany had a lot more than two parts! Prussia, Bavaria, Baden?
    What is that?
    I need a shower.

    (I wonder what the 1910-11 Brittanica has to say about the intellect of the negro?)
    I wish I still had mine. I grew up with the 1911 Brittanica - in its own custom 6' tall shelf. Boy did I spend a lot of time with that.

    Fast forward to when I was about 19. Took a job selling the Brittanica. The way they worked was to take a van load of us out & drop us off in a lower middle class neighborhood: "They won't already have them & will want to do anything to get their kids ahead in school". So, I went door to door & sold 3 sets - all on their payment plan. When I got to another house, the man was interested, but got out paper & pencil (hey this was 1972ish) & did some calcs. "Do you realize that this is 26% (may not have been exactly that - but mid-upper 20's) interest?" "Really?" I said. He showed me the numbers & he was right. I asked him if he was still interested & he said no. He wanted to talk a bit more, but I told him I had to go talk to the 3 sales I'd made before the van came back. I did - explained the interest to them & offered to tear up the agreement. Every person wanted to & was grateful.

    When I got back to the van, the trainer asked how many I'd sold. "3" I said. "Wow! That's great! Puts you in our top tier." I then told him that I'd torn up all of the agreements & why. He looked at me like I was nuts "Who cares how much it cost them? You just threw away over $300!" "Yep, but I'll sleep tonight & by the way, I quit."
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    Some people take it as a proud moment to sell people something they don't need. My brother was hitchhiking and got picked up by a vacuum salesman who sold a machine to a woman who didn't have electricity. He was still laughing about it

    Bastard

    You did the right thing
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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobcat View Post
    Some people take it as a proud moment to sell people something they don't need. My brother was hitchhiking and got picked up by a vacuum salesman who sold a machine to a woman who didn't have electricity. He was still laughing about it

    Bastard

    You did the right thing
    I did (& thanks) - but I'd have preferred that they offered the encyclopedias at a fair rate of interest - as back in those pre-internet days, they really were a useful tool.

    I sold cleaners for a while too. Just have to say it - that job sucked.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    Wait. I thought smileys made us weak? I simply cannot keep up.
    OK, OK, I shoulda known better.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    I'll be leaving my son my compact (7 lbs) Oxford English Dictionary along with the 5.0 inch digital magnifier I bought for it. I had an encyclopedia, but my ex wife did it in.
    "The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed." William Gibson

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    We had Funk and Wagnalls. Its still in the built-in in the front hall of her house. I'm visiting tomorrow and may add a pic to this post.

    I remember teachers, upon assigning a report, cautioning us to, " not just use the encyclopedia at your house." In my school, at least three references were required.

    Kevin
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  31. #31
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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    My mother actually sold World Books for a while. We once had an older set, but she traded up while working for them. My mother used to talk about opening my bedroom door when I was supposed to be sleeping and finding me under the covers with a flashlight reading an encyclopedia.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy W View Post
    My mother actually sold World Books for a while. We once had an older set, but she traded up while working for them. My mother used to talk about opening my bedroom door when I was supposed to be sleeping and finding me under the covers with a flashlight reading an encyclopedia.
    with me it was the national geographics. love me some geography.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    Quote Originally Posted by L.W. Baxter View Post
    with me it was the national geographics. love me some geography.
    You sure it wasn't the anatomy?

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    Quote Originally Posted by L.W. Baxter View Post
    with me it was the national geographics. love me some geography.
    I remember going through the stack of Nat geo magazines at my Grandparents place, right when the Apollo program was winding up - so I guess I was about seven. The stack ran back at least as far as Mercury/Redstone, and kept me entertained every time we went to visit. All those boring places, meh! But astronauts, rockets and supersonic planes - that was cool!

    Pete
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  35. #35
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    Default Re: Are you going to leave your kids an encyclopedia?

    Old encyclopedias and other old books contain a world view and information that may be censored in the internet age. In addition to every search being tracked and logged, the online info is increasingly dumbed down. Back in the day, the Brittanica aspired to be the internet, and did a respectable job in the science and history fields.

    I can imagine a day in the near future when a search on how to melt lead for a boat keel will result in a visit from code enforcement.

    I’d keep the old reference books along with the stacks of Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, etc. make the grandkids toss them out.

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