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I LIKE BIG BOOKS AND I CANNOT LIE! :D Anyone else here enjoy encyclopedias and other big reference or coffee table books?


Estil
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MemberPosted

I thought now would be a good time to bring back a classic topic of mine from Nintendo Age seeing as how I finally gotten around to getting a couple of good sturdy bookcases for my collection.聽 Basically I've always was fascinated by encyclopedias and other big reference books and big coffee table books and in my school libraries they were the extra special books that you weren't allowed to check out...so it's especially awesome I can now have some of them for my own use. 馃檪聽 聽And yes my middle school library had that HUGE blue book of all the Topps baseball cards from 1951-1990 so you bet I looked through that quite often when I got the chance!


Just for fun, I posted the above Teens React video...it just so happens they used a 2005 World Book, the year me and my wife Denise got married!聽聽聽聽And isn't it cute how at 1:03 in the first video, Jeordy thinks she's Wilson from Home Improvement? ^^ 聽BTW it would've been a lot easier to use the encyclopedia if they were aligned on a shelf instead of just in piles!聽聽

But back to our regularly scheduled program, I was born in 1980, so I was among the last generations to know of the pre-Internet era, and of course before Google/Wiki/Internet and such, your handy encyclopedia (if you were lucky enough to have your own not-too-outdated set...they easily went for over $1000 new...then and now) was your go-to source to get the gist of whatever subject you were interested in. 聽Of course for a good research paper you have to use other sources that go into more detail but the encyclopedia article was at least a start. 聽Sadly I did not have my own set of encyclopedias growing up and I must say I bet I could've really benefited from it.

So why bother having these now in this modern day and age of google/wiki and so on? 聽Well I always found them to be interesting and fun to look through. 聽Of course you can't possibly have but a few so I chose these for my personal collection:

* 1976 World Book Bicentennial set (white covers and red/white/blue flags and spines and such)
* 1992 World Book 75th Anniversary set (navy blue/gold covers)
* Annuals of America (from Brittanica), which has all the major speeches and such from the times of America's history...you'd be surprised how often you find these in TV shows, like Home Improvement believe it or not.
* 1989 Brittanica

* National Geographic Atlas of the World (1992) - This was my 5th grade year and this was also the start of the modern post-Cold War era of American history so I thought it'd be a good place to start; I wouldn't mind someday getting the earlier ones too!聽 These big World or US or whatnot atlases are sure kewl as well right?聽 I really would like to find maps of my local county/city and find out how they've evolved over the past several decades!

But my聽favorite聽set of all is the World Book Yearbooks, which I have all of them from 1931-2013 (I'm going by the years they cover inside, the year on the cover is the next year; the year it was published), of which I've so far read 1961-87.聽 What I like about these is that they can give you an idea of the issues and events and such that were important for that year back when that year was still fresh on their minds/memories you see. 聽And the best part was even with shipping I was able to get them the first group (all the hardbacks from 1961-2013 in the white/green "Aristocratic" style covers) for just $3.30 each! 聽Not bad considering the new yearbooks go for about 10x that!聽

Right now I've been working on the Britannica Books of the Year (they're bigger and take a bit longer to plow through) and I started with 1961 a couple years or so back and I'm now working on our bicentennial year 1976.聽 That and reading my local newspaper archive (I'm now on mid July 1990) are my two main "educational" projects you could say.聽 Sure beats having to manually load microfilm reels and not being able to use any kind of Ctrl+F sort of function!! 馃槃

And that I suppose is the main reason why on Ebay people can't even give these encyclopedias and such away...the shipping (it can easily be at least $60-$70). 聽Not to mention unless you got some sort of nostgagic memories of reading through them, you're even less likely to want them besides.

I also have always enjoyed those giant coffee table books too...here's a few I have:

* Topps Baseball Cards (1951-1990) & Topps Football Cards (1956-86)...I got to see the baseball one in my middle school library, so I'm especially pleased I was able to get my own copy several years back. 聽I also have "Classic Baseball Cards" which covers pre-1956 and especially pre-WWII
* Peanuts 60th, 50th, and 40th anniversary coffee table books, as well as all the Complete Peanuts hardcovers and all the Peanuts Every Sunday books
* Ken Burns' Civil War & Baseball documentaries (both the books and DVD sets).聽 I just recently got his Country Music coffee table book as well.

I often tell my wife the reason I like to read the above things is so I can maybe become as smart as she is (she has 2x master's degrees and 150+ IQ). 聽 聽Not sure if I can really do that but that doesn't mean I can't try! 聽


I guess so much for the stereotype of video gamers only "rot their brains" on games, eh? 馃槃

Edited by Estil
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MemberPosted
Just now, Gloves said:

My coffee table is where we eat dinner, so... nah lol. Best to avoid getting books sticky. I do keep some art books around the living room though.

That's why I don't bring any food/drink into my gaming room, which also doubles as my "study" 馃槃聽 聽It kinda has to since my apt only has three rooms (living room/kitchen combo, bedroom (my gaming room/"study"), bathroom).聽 But it's a very nice place/location and about the safest place you can find in my area. 馃檪聽 Which I guess is pretty darn important in this current climate!! >_<

Edited by Estil
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MemberPosted

One of my favourite books is the Ethnologue. I remember telling my mother I wanted it for Christmas at about age 22, and she was horrified whilst thumbing through it after it had arrived, thinking it looked incredibly boring. I found it to be very fascinating, though.

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31 minutes ago, Daniel_Doyce said:

God, those teens react videos are so insipid. Truly the worst kind of garbage on YT.

Well to be fair they can easily be scripted/rehearsed.聽 I just don't understand why the encyclopedia set wasn't presented properly on a shelf or something in alphabetical order like聽normal people聽have (or had?) 馃槢

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I don't really use encyclopedias or whatnot, however I do use what some would consider big books as references. I use the TTL Data Book as references for when I am taking a look at 74xxx parts. It is super useful and is better than rolling the chair to the computer to look up chips. I have the fourth volume on the way, which is for old RAM chips and Bipolar ROMs.

20200715_140929.jpg

Edited by SNESNESCUBE64
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@SNESNESCUBE64聽First off, clever username (is that how you rank the consoles in order of your preference?) and second are you into the TI-99 4A computer from 1981?聽 Both my 3rd grade teachers had one in their classroom (I moved during that school year) so needless to say that's the one that has the most nostagic for me, and our computer lab at the time had Apple IIc Plus, with the all time classic Oregon Trail and Spellevator being the most popular games among us 3rd/4th graders at the time.

I long ago got for $20 got a group of 20 TI-994A cartridges, sorry,聽Command Modules聽but I just haven't yet had the heart to get an actual machine...plus it'd be nice to know what all the expansion cards/side car thingies were.

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3 minutes ago, Estil said:

@SNESNESCUBE64聽First off, clever username (is that how you rank the consoles in order of your preference?) and second are you into the TI-99 4A computer from 1981?聽 Both my 3rd grade teachers had one in their classroom (I moved during that school year) so needless to say that's the one that has the most nostagic for me, and our computer lab at the time had Apple IIc Plus, with the all time classic Oregon Trail and Spellevator being the most popular games among us 3rd/4th graders at the time.

I long ago got for $20 got a group of 20 TI-994A cartridges, sorry,聽Command Modules聽but I just haven't yet had the heart to get an actual machine...plus it'd be nice to know what all the expansion cards/side car thingies were.

Thanks for the compliment, no this is not how I rank my consoles (not that I even have a real ranking), it just sounded the coolest when said on xbox live back when I made the username in like 2010. I've never really been into vintage computers, but I almost bought a TI-99, the problem was that it was missing half the keys so I figured it wasn't worth the $20 asking price (plus the chance of it needing to be repaired). Ultimately I can do electronics, but I have a hard time replacing physical parts as they are not as readily available nor can I make them. I used to have a commodore 64, but I didn't own it for too long as I didn't really care to collect for it, it was just a cheap machine that I got, fixed, and flipped. Part of it is that I am a little bit younger, so I'm not particularly nostalgic for these computers, if anything it would be a windows 98/xp machine as that's what we had in the house growing up and that's what was in the computer lab at school back in the day.

Ultimately, you should pick one up, it sounds like you would enjoy it. On top of that, they are rather common and aren't the most expensive vintage computer on the market these days.

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The Franco-Prussian War started 150 years ago today (July 19) when France declared war on Prussia. It's a fascinating war since it's the last "gentlemanly" war in Europe before modern artillery and machine guns really started to be used in force.

Napoleon III, who was one of the most interesting, incompetent, and pathetic figures of 19th century Europe, had several opportunities to win the war, but (spoiler) ended up getting captured and deposed at the battle of Sedan in late 1870. Still, the war dragged on into 1871 with the Siege of Paris and ended with a whimper with Bourbaki limping into Switzerland.

Anyway, I have read a few books on the war, but I think I'll start on Geoffrey Wayro's The Franco-Prussian War: The German Conquest of France in 1870-1871 today. I also have a reference specifically on the French army in a box of books somewhere.

Edited by Daniel_Doyce
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MemberPosted

The benefit of hard books is that the information is closer to the source time of many events that were current, 25, 50,聽 75, etc. I'd heard people mention things like even "wikipedia is biased" and I generally rolled my eyes at it. But, it wasn't until I ran into cases of revisionist information that I realized this one wasn't so conspiratorial.

Anyway, we like to think that information on the web is permanent but it's not, really. Sure you might be able to dig through logs and there is the way back machine but in general those tools aren't used or equiped for significant study. We get lazy and rely on the most prominent sources and the web is designed to change. That's fine for shops or gaming sites, but when it's public information work even news, historical accuracy is lost with time.

But not if you have old, hard copies of original source material.

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7 hours ago, RH said:

The benefit of hard books is that the information is closer to the source time of many events that were current, 25, 50,聽 75, etc. I'd heard people mention things like even "wikipedia is biased" and I generally rolled my eyes at it. But, it wasn't until I ran into cases of revisionist information that I realized this one wasn't so conspiratorial.

Well surely you can't go wrong with World Book or Britannica (at least back then) right?聽 Back then those were your two major encyclopedias...and then you had all those other guys (the "Encyclopedia Generica" Marge Simpson once referred to is a play on how the Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia would be sold in grocery stores 1-2 volumes at a time; with the first volume being a special cheap price; and boy you better visit that store often or else you could miss a volume and really be screwed!).聽 Some children's book sets that were numbered like an encyclopedia worked that way also.

World Book was by far the most popular in schools; you know how Crayola boxes read "Preferred by Teachers"?聽 Well that's what World Book was.聽 Whereas I guess Britannica was the more formal/serious tone kind of thing.

But yes indeed @RH聽when it comes to stuff you get online (especially the newspapers.com archive of my local paper) and stuff you get the old fashioned books way, I like having the best of both worlds!聽 And you know how you've heard on the news sometimes about people allegedly wanting to "rewrite history" or something?聽 Well with those yearbooks and newspaper archives and such, there's no do-overs!!

Edited by Estil
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13 hours ago, themisfit138 said:

I still have a set of聽Britannica from back in the day. Also, started collecting local city,聽聽township and聽county history books. Many of which only had one printing.聽

What year?聽 Did this guy urge you to get a set? 馃槃聽 And despite what the commercial says, Britannica is meant for the more serious scholar/child genius types...and the look and feel does give it a Cadillac of Encyclopedias vibe for sure.聽 Their main rival World Book is most definitely the "preferred by teachers/schools" (as the Crayolas would say) type.

And this is clearly a jab at Funk & Wagnalls, which isn't exactly fair since they go back even further than World Book (their encyclopedia was made 1912-97)聽AND they're the ones who did the Charlie Brown's 'Cyclopedias in 1980 and 1990!

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