In about 45 minutes, my wife and I will list our home of 25+ years for sale. It's been a good home, and in cleaning up our house for sale, I wondered if there was any reason to keep the 1959 World Book Encyclopedias? After all, the articles are over 50 years old, and most of my research is conducted via the web ... and quite often Wikipedia.
My logic says to get rid of my World Books, but how do you say good-bye to an old friend? Somehow, as much as I enjoy the web, there is never the same joy or wonder which comes from pulling a different" letter" off the book shelf and starting to read. At a very young age in my parent's home this is how I explored the world of science, history, literature, foreign lands, etc. The web does not encourage this kind of browsing.
Sitting in front of me to the left of my computer is the Letter R ... as in World Book. Normally I would curl up in a good chair, or in bed and read my encyclopedia of the day. Let's see ... R (from World Book):
- R (Egyptian ... 3000 BC; to Roman ... AD 114)
- RA (see New Deal)
- Rabat (capital of French Morocco)
- Rabual (See New Britain)
And thus ends the topics from the first page of R! This led me to wonder what I would find on Wikipedia if I start with R:
Here is where the similarity between the two encyclopedias end. Upon review, I can't see whether it is possible to browse to the next "R entry". One can select "random article", but I want to read about R!
My only hope is the development of tablet PC's will bring back "the browse". After all, the software for reading content online is called a "browser", but do our present hardware devices really encourage "browsing"? I need to be in a comfortable chair! Right now, I can't justify the purchase of an iPad (too expensive). I do have my eyes on the Android Archos 101 Internet Tablet! After all, I will need to read "S".