Tuesday, August 24, 2021

A new home for encyclopedias

During the happy time we set up our home library, the one thing I was ambivalent about was getting rid of our 1990 World Book encyclopedia set. We purchased this set for $1/volume when our old library was upgrading to a newer version, and they'd served us well during our homeschooling years.

We didn't have room for them anymore, so we weeded them out along with four other boxes of unwanted books.

But I had very mixed feelings about jettisoning this set. I knew in advance no thrift store would take them, but it always seems seriously sacrilegious to throw away perfectly good books, you know?

The day came when I ventured into town for errands, with plans to drop some items at a local thrift store for donation -- a pair of shoes and four boxes of books.

On the way, I stopped at the dumpsters. Many rural counties in Idaho do not have garbage service, but instead have dumpsters where locals can drop off their garbage. If anyone has an item in good shape they want to pass on, they frequently leave it outside the dumpsters.

That's what I did with the encyclopedia set.

I put a sign across the top: "Full encyclopedia set -- take me home!"

By the time I returned home an hour later, they were gone.

I can't tell you how absurdly pleased I am someone took the encyclopedia set. I hope they grace another homeschooling family's educational years.

15 comments:

  1. When the grid goes down for good, encyclopedias will be priceless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Encyclopedias and how-to/DIY books.

      Delete
  2. It's getting hard to find encyclopedias. Actual written history is being eschewed in favor of, shall we say, "malleable" on line resources. Unfortunately, most folks either favor rewriting history, or are completely oblivious to the fact it's happening...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Question? What would be the best recommendation of a set of encyclopedias, I am going on the hunt for a set. Just got another book case and am going to fill it fast.
    Thank you in advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't kept track of the encyclopedia market over the last 30 years, so I don't know what's in print (versus digital) anymore. But of the two encyclopedias with which I'm most familiar (World Book Encyclopedia and Encyclopedia Britannica), I could recommend either.

      World Book is more suitable for children. The language is clearer and easier to understand, and it often has beautiful photos to accompany the text. It's an excellent comprehensive reference. If you're homeschooling, this would be my recommendation.

      Encyclopedia Britannica is more suitable for adults. It has many contributing writers who are experts in various fields. It is an absolute standard for detailed reference, a veritable font of dizzying amounts of information. I don't believe these are in print anymore (digital only), but older sets might be available on eBay or something.

      My two cents.

      - Patrice

      Delete
    2. As a librarian, and someone who was raised on a 1966 set of World Books (yep, I’m old), I’d have to concur with your assessment, Patrice. Having said that, I used to run a good-sized hospital library and one of my first purchases was a brand-new (1990) set of World Books. We also got the free globe; unfortunately by the time we received it, the Soviet Union had crumbled and the globe was woefully out of date, but I kept it anyway. I answered more non-medical reference questions using my trusty World book than I could count, to the amazement of the staff, who were definitely Team Britannica - nothing wrong with that, you understand.

      I’m happy that your set got re-homed.

      Delete
    3. Thank you, I will keep my eye out at yard and estate sales for now. I will look for the Britannica since I have no kids at home.

      Delete
  4. I'm so spoiled by the Internet. See a word I don't know, copy and paste it into the browser, Bam!
    But, I'm hanging onto my1973 dictionary.. And the1954 Strongs concordance. I'd stash some encyclopedias if I stumbled across some.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Homeschoolers will be amongst the meek who shall inherit the earth.

    ReplyDelete
  6. There are some neat "old enyclopedia" crafts on Pinterest... which I will NEVER HAVE TIME TO MAKE!
    XaLynn

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've thought about grabbing a set over the years but don't have anywhere to put for now. I've collected some books like a machinist handbook, books on wood working and metal work, chemistry, and such. There is only so much for space.

    ReplyDelete
  8. We had one growing up for years Patrice, and yes, it is hard thing not to have one. The knowledge may indeed be frozen in time, but at least the knowledge was readily available sans electricity.

    ReplyDelete
  9. We recently moved and put everything into storage so I hesitated keeping my World Books, but the way they're changing history I wanted to keep them for my grandkids. That's a great idea that you had though!

    ReplyDelete
  10. That is awesome! It's nice to see that someone has the same appreciation for books.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I would have happily paid to have them shipped to my home library. Expensive and hard to find around here.

    ReplyDelete