244 Years: Encyclopedia Britannica Stops Print Production

March 14, 2012


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.

Encyclopedia Britannica to stop printing books [cnn]

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?

  • Guest

    Reading Wikipedia is like taking a gamble with information, even if a majority of the information would be used & cited from true resources like books or other forms of media...there is a chance of outdated or poorly referenced material submitted by anyone really. For short...Wikipedia may be good for getting the gist of something. No offense.

    oh...and bacon rules. ≈ ≈  :D

  • Marko

    Half of me is sad. I loved leafing through it in the library as a kid and wanted my own set.
    Half of me is not surprised. When I was a kid, I failed to find a lot
    of what I was looking for. And why has it taken them so long to
    discontinue it? Now I just use writing service like http://evowriters.com/ for my assignments in college.

  • "cursed internet fad"

    The internet is a fad? And they are saying this now?

    I haven't ever used one of their books for research just because how outdated the information always was, maybe it was because there was no library in town that had one that was up to date.

    Plus it just felt like a chore when you read them as well. 

    I miss them at all, sorry.

  • You probably don't remember, but at one point there was no such thing as the Internet.

  • damn how to erase comments when they're dumb? :P

  • GlennBryant

    World Book is where it's at.

  • Is anyone else devastated by this or is it just me and Encyclopedia Britannica Kid?

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