The print version of Encyclopaedia Britannica has kept humanity company for 244 years. The wealth of knowledge that makes up the 32-volume printed edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica has adorned library shelves since 1768 and, as sign of our times, the company that publishes it has decided to abandon it and go fully digital.
Upon the onset of the digital age and the internet, Britannica’s sales started falling and the company managed to sell only 8,000 sets of the 2010 edition from the 12,000 set initial run. Now considering the wealth of information available for free on the internet and the speed with which new knowledge and information is created, you see why a printed encyclopedia no longer makes sense. Also typing a search query and hitting enter, beats the hell out of having to pull down a heavy volume and flick through hundreds of pages to find an answer.
Encyclopaedia Britannica isn’t going away, thankfully, and will continue to provide some balance to the humongous crowd-sourced pile of information that is Wikipedia. The iconic encyclopedia lives on in digital only form, and that’s very good. You can access its wealth of information online and through a pretty awesome iOS app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.
Anyone looking to buy one of the last ever sets of the printed Encyclopaedia Britannica can grab one for a paltry $1,395.[Britannica blog]