It has been coming for a decade and it appears to have taken down one of its biggest targets. While there may be very little actual malice between the digital world and the print world, the upcoming discontinuation of the iconic Encyclopaedia Britannica marks another casualty in the unintended war on paper.
“It’s a rite of passage in this new era,” said Jorge Cauz, President of Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc. “Some people will feel sad about it and nostalgic about it. But we have a better tool now. The Web site is continuously updated, it’s much more expansive and it has multimedia.”
The rise of Wikipedia and other resources has made printed information unnecessary. Rather than buying a storing 130 lbs of books or venturing to the library in hopes that their copy isn’t currently being read, people in general and students in particular hit Google to find the information they need with less hassle and limited cost (assuming one has an internet connection and an internet-ready device).
On a personal note, I will miss the grand old books with their gold lettering and sturdy feel, but even a geezer like me only uses them to support my spare couch when one of the legs break. Still, there’s a sense of sadness that accompanies progress.