Britannica’s Revenge

In Asked and Answered by Brady Carlson0 Comments

That Encyclopedia Britannica commercial

Brady: What happens to books that are bought but never read?

-Sharon, Illinois

Books are just like you and me – they have a wide range of interests and most of them don’t mind not being read. They take classes, paint, garden – some of them are “geeky” and go to sci-fi conventions where they put on costumes and meet their favorite stars.

a book meets Walter Koenig

This book waited in line for 14 hours to meet Walter Koenig.

Not all books cope well with the isolation, though, and some turn bitter. The American Libary Association (and the word “Libary” is correct; this is a group of poor-spelling book lovers who were unable to secure membership in the better-known American Library Association) is warning people who own print copies of the Encyclopedia Brittanica to be on guard for any suspicious behavior by its volumes, after what happened to the kid from their famous commercials from the early 90’s:

That kid, who built his reputation on using the Encyclopedia Brittanica to write (the haters said “copy”) a report on space, left his Brittanica set on the shelf for years. Then, when the company announced they would move to digital-only and stop producing print editions, they struck back. They teamed with the household cat, Sanford, to finish him off. The kid was found smothered to death a week later. And the volume that did it had opened itself to the entry on space.


Narrator’s not gonna save you this time, kid.

Creepy, huh? But that’s clearly the exception to the rule when it comes to unopened books. There are a few troublemakers, for sure, but mostly they just dress up like first editions of Roger MacBride Allen’s “Ambush at Corellia” and try to get Billy Dee Williams to sign them.

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