There was a time, BG (before Google), when to find information, you would refer to a large faux leather-bound book.
The family encyclopaedia.
Say I need ‘the height of a giraffe’.
You’d go to the room that stored your compendiums.
A letter reference on the spine would help you select the correct tome. ‘F-J’.
Then a flick through the pages, that smell, to the G’s.
There, you’d discover somewhere between ginseng and Girl Guides… giraffe.
And then magic happens.
A Google search would tell you the fact. Giraffes are approximately 5.5 metres.
You’ll also get some ads and a link to Giraffe restaurants.
Yet because of the encyclopaedia’s design, you get drawn in.
They’re more than a book of facts, they are factual books. Written by people who want to win your attention with alphabetical awesomeness.
That’s the best bit.
After digesting the giraffe fact, you can’t help but read a little about ginseng and discover that the Girl Guides were founded by Agnes Baden-Powell. Not Robert’s wife, his sister.
You don’t get that with The Google.
Did you (or do you still) use the wonder of the encyclopaedia?
I’d love to know what you think. Please leave your comments here.