Joe Blogs

Knowledge is power


I was in a local charity shop with Oscar the other evening, while Hannah was next door buying some groceries. Hannah has been wanting some kind of single volume encyclopedia to enhance her general knowledge and I found something pretty good; The Reader’s Digest Illustrated Dictionary of Essential Knowledge for £1.50.

Thus armed, I wandered around some more and found a big stack of black books. “Yours for £15, call it a tenner. Less than 50p a book” quoth the guy running the shop. Normally, when I have found these things in such places, they are the 1964 edition and incomplete. This was the 15th edition, from the mid-nineties, complete (plus some extras) and in perfect condition. So, I am the proud owner of a complete Encyclopedia Britannica:

Oooh, the knowledge

Oooh, the knowledge

I love it! It’s amazing. 29 volumes for the combined “Micropedia: Ready Reference” and “Macropedia: In Depth Knowledge”, please 2 volume “index”, a single-volume “Guide to the Britannica”, a couple each of “Medical and Health” and “Science and the Future” annuals from 1993 and 1994 and “Book of the Year” for 1992 to 1998 (covering events from 1991 to 1997). A total of 43 volumes, so actually less than 25p a volume!

I have no idea how much I will manage to extract from this wondrous thing, but I couldn’t pass it up. Naturally, anything “current” like computing or technology will be effectively archaic and redundant, but History, Literature, Natural History etc should still be useful and interesting.