Encyclopaedia milestone a win for efficiency
Reading about the discontinuation of Encyclopaedia Brittanica in book form reminded me of the phrase, “Tradition is the only thing holding back progress” (“Last entry for Encyclopaedia Britannica book form,” Web, Wednesday).
In this case, I have to agree with the statement. Hundreds of years of tradition may indeed have held back progress, but now even Encyclopaedia Britannica has caught the efficiency bug. However, it’s not altogether unwelcome.
As a high school student, I always saw an encyclopedia as something you learned how to use but that was too weighty for everyday life, both in size and efficiency. It ended up being a waste of time, space and paper when compared with quick online results.
This likely was a difficult choice for Encyclopaedia Britannica to make, having to choose progress over tradition. Such a long history is not easily broken, but the makers of these books chose to go down the path of efficiency, and others may follow soon.
Years from now, when the older generation looks harshly at the younger, wondering why the youngsters do not know how to use a printed encyclopedia, the younger ones may have the higher arch in their brows, wondering why people would waste their effort on a set of books just to find a few facts. HANNAH EICHELBERGER Woodbridge, VA.