After 244 years, Encyclopedia Britannica is ceasing print production of their iconic multi-volume books of knowledge, citing "Wikipedia" and "this cursed internet fad." The company, which released an updated version every two years, says the 2010 edition will be the last. It will not, however, be a collector's item.
"Everyone will want to call this the end of an era, and I understand that," [Britannica President] Cauz says. "But there's no sad moment for us. I think outsiders are more nostalgic about the books than I am."
In truth, Cauz says, the death knell sounded long ago. Though the name "Britannica" calls the print sets to mind, Cauz says they represent less than 1% of the company's total sales.
The online version of the encyclopedia, which was first published in 1994, represents only 15% of Britannica's revenue. The other 85% is sales of education products: online learning tools, curriculum products and more.
Cauz says he celebrates those changes, as well as the end of the print set -- which was first published in Scotland in 1768. In fact, Britannica is throwing itself a party on Wednesday.
"We're going to have a cake in the shape of a print set to celebrate," Cauz says, laughing. "Is that morbid?"
No, Cauz, a cake shaped like a bunch of books isn't morbid. Now a birthday cake shaped like the woman who died in the house before you lived there -- THAT'S morbid. But seriously, I am genuinely surprised to hear they're gonna stop printing Britannicas. "Because you thought it happened years ago?" 90's at the LATEST.
Thanks to Evil Ares, who's so evil he burned encyclopedias to prevent people from learning and then told them rain is actually angels peeing. Wait -- so it actually is safe to drink?