I had a very special relationship with my 1966 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica print edition (1768 - 2012). As a child, I had allergies and asthma really bad -- bad enough to have to stay home in bed, sick and alone (my parents both worked). I spent a lot of that time reading everything from comic books, paperback comics ("Peanuts" being, of course, my favorite) and, yes, the Encyclopaedia Britannica (pictured). I loved little more in life than sitting on the family room rug flipping pages, looking up all kinds of things I never heard of before -- my favorites being dinosaurs and stuff having to do with space (like planets). Man, it was a treasure trove of adventure and science -- as well as a healthy learning experience for a child. I spent many, many hours with my best friend the encyclopaedia.
All those hours exposed to words definitely helped guide me to my profession (writing) because words are so magical and powerful. They can create anything -- anything at all -- and that's pretty amazing. The Encyclopaedia Britannica people still publish their magnificent opus online, but it will never be quite the same as the paper version. It is a sad day, indeed, for word lovers everywhere.
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