Britannica Encyclopedia – an unforgettable memory

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Remember Britannica books? Those thick hard bound books with a golden colour spine and a letter engrained on it which looked like they were made at a royal place. The pot belly salesman who used to sell it seemed like the messenger of knowledge. Though most parents detested him in the beginning, began liking him for the collection as soon as he presented it. It was an ideal way to kill time during summer holidays feeding kilos of information.


If you lived in an apartment, you’d know that all you needed was one neighbour who could afford the entire set and everyone would be seen hounding his or her library to avoid studies and on the pretext of gaining extra knowledge.


The A, B, C, D,… series.. And those pictures..

One of the most hilarious incidents was when we went to meet our cousin at Goa. (Yes, how lucky!). Our entire family (including cousins, uncles, aunts..etc. around 20 of us) spent a fortnight there during December holidays during the late 1990s.


And, guess what! My cousin had an entire collection of the Britannica series. She was the go-to person in her apartments.


It so happened that my other naughty adolescent cousins wanted to refer to the infographics of the knowledge in the – K series. And they sneaked into the knowledge room when everyone was fast asleep in the noon.


They picked the thick book and ensconced quietly in a corner and turned pages slowly to the pages of K-sutra. Finally, when they reached the page and were devouring the infographics they heard footsteps. They immediately turned few pages as my cousin from Goa entered the room.  She was shocked what she saw and hurried towards the exit of the room. My other cousins saw in disbelief that the pages they turned were the positions’ page and not another piece of knowledge on K.


P.S: I was narrated this incident my one of my adolescent cousins.


I still can imagine and laugh about it.


This article in The Hindu by Karra Sriram reminded me of those naive times we lived in: The Web that made information free

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