"The question of print versus online is different when you’re not talking about cheap paperbacks versus e-books, or news magazines versus blogs. This Encyclopaedia sells for $1395, and at 32 volumes, it would be out of place on any but the most expansive libraries. Only 8000 copies of the 2010 edition were sold; 4000 are being warehoused. Just before the dawn of the web, in 1990, they sold 120,000."One of the golden memories I have from my undergraduate course was sitting on the carpeted floor of the library in the quick reference section (which was miles away from both chairs and tables) thumbing through both sections, an obsession which began with a class exercise in being able to use the indexes to access the information, just another process from my librarianship course Google has rendered obsolete.
We'd been told in the preceding lecture that the EB's motive in producing the Macropedia was to allow a person to gain a working knowledge of a topic from its pages and I was desperate to test the theory and although my brain isn't wired to retain information, I was set on the course of being interested in everything, even if I'd only ever ultimately have a vague notion about most of it.