Why this journalist shelled out $1200 for the only encyclopedia still in print

Benj Edwards, a reporter covering AI news for Ars Technica, wrote about why he shelled out $1,200 for the 2023 print edition of World Book Encyclopedia.

World Book is the sole publisher of a general reference encyclopedia in 2023. (Encyclopedia Britannica gave up in 2012.) While World Book does provide an online subscription service, Edwards noted the enduring appeal of the print version, particularly for public and school libraries, leading to sales numbering in the thousands.

Edwards' description of the impressive features of the 2023 edition makes me think he is onto something. The 22-volume set has 17,000 articles and 14,000 pages and over 25,000 visual elements such as photographs, illustrations, diagrams, and maps. The print edition's charm, according to Edwards, lies in its permanence and reliability compared to online content, offering a sense of ownership that cannot be edited or removed, though his family doesn't share his enthusiasm for the set. I like the way the set forms a giant photo of a shark!