Wednesday, April 14, 2010

whirled books

I wrote a little thing about the great big World Book Encyclopedia:

"When I was just beginning to read, pre-search engines, the most fertile source of truth in our house was The World Book Encyclopedia. We owned a late-seventies edition. It was so huge the set occupied its own shelf beneath my parents’ child psychology texts, The Whole Earth Catalog, and Erica Jong. The curdled, almost stony texture of the covers, the embossing, and the copious gold leaf lent the set an almost biblical authority. Actually, in my lapsed-Catholic, professorial household, it seemed more reliable than the Pentateuch. Truth was a scrimmage between Catholic school and In Search of (two fantastic sources), and World Book was the ref." [read it all here.]

1 comment:

  1. Ah, the World Wide Web in hard copy form! We had a 1960 set when I was growing up, and I still own it. I'm probably older than you but even so my parents should probably have waited a couple more years, at least until I could read!

    The ad does look more like it's from the early 1960s than 1970s. We had that Childcraft set too.