Did you ever dream of owning a manual that anyone would wish to have? Or maybe you would like people to envy something that you have in your collection that they don’t? Or own an item in your house that will attract the visitors’ attention at a second’s notice? Check out the printed version of Wikipedia that’s currently selling for $500 000 and that people are talking about all over the web.
Perhaps this isn’t so good for the trees, but when it comes to owning an impressive piece of the world’s knowledge – digital knowledge that is – this is certainly as cool as it gets. The ambitious project contains 7471 pages and contains about a dozen million entries in the english language.
The project didn’t happen overnight however as the owner of this now-legendary book has taken several years to build this massive encyclopedia. This is a special creation, because Wikipedia has taken over a lot of the written form of information and documentaries over the last decade. This brings back researching to our roots and makes us realize just how much knowledge is present on the web. The Wikimedia Foundation is said to be behind the project along with Lulu.com, a platform that has been printing out the independent writers’ creations for years.
Did We Need Such A Thing?
Certainly this creation can go under some criticism because the information that’s contained in the book has already been out there, and the information can go out of date pretty quickly as well, but if you’ve been overwhelmed by the fact that we now have to go on the web to find each and every piece of information, and that the library has now been put aside, owning a part of this collection could mean something to you.
Certainly, the whole collection is very expensive and not within the reach of anybody’s wallet (or library size as a matter of facts), but the collection is made of much smaller volumes that can be purchased for a little less than $100, which can be an interesting and curious addition to anyone’s library. You might not necessarily put your hands on something relevant right from the books you get, but there’s always the opportunity to learn something like with any encyclopedia.
The physical appearance of this printed Wikipedia is also very interesting by itself and produces an unusual feeling to the eye – witnessing something in paper that we have for so many years only consulted digitally is an impression that will feel pretty strong to most people. The outside is a simple white with “Wikipedia” written in the usual font found on the website, and the interior of the book looks well – spaced just like the digital version. The user can then go ahead and read more of what was published online and hold it right in their hands. Always scrolling Wikipedia looking for some miscellaneous information? This could be the way to remove screen time from your daily routine.
In any case, if you’re unwilling to buy one of these Wikipedia pieces or print it yourself, it’s also currently in exhibition in New York City, USA for people to witness the size and the huge white spectacle of information that took all this time to be built.
So in a summary, this creation might sound controversial or weird to some people, but it’s nevertheless interesting that someone took the time to take something this massive out of the web and put it in display in real life. What would be the next thing to be printed? We certainly hope it’s not Facebook for the sake of privacy (!), but there could certainly be some other possibilities as the web abounds in information portals, although maybe not as big as Wikipedia. And then, this creation brings us an interesting observation about today’s information – there would probably need to be a printed version of Wikipedia to be printed each year for all the information to stay relatively current, or maybe taking a look at what was present on there in the past could be of interest to some people. Is anyone expected to buy the whole collection? Well, the challenge and the bragging rights are certainly up there for grabs now that this massive collection has hit the real world, or maybe the random alphabetical information is better off finding a home in people’s libraries one volume at a time.