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World Book

From Academic Kids

World Book Encyclopedia is, according to the publisher, "the number-one selling print encyclopedia in the world" [1] (http://www.worldbook.com/wc/browse?id=ab/). The first edition (1917) contained 8 volumes. New editions have since appeared every year except 1920, 1924, and 1932, with major revisions in 1929 (13 volumes), 1947 (18,000 illustrations), 1960 (20 volumes), and 1988. A CD-ROM version of the encyclopedia for Macintosh and Windows computers first appeared in 1990. Since 1998, in addition to the print and CD-ROM editions of the 22-volume encyclopedia, World Book also publishes an online version called the World Book Online Reference Center [2] (http://www.worldbookonline.com). The online version includes all of the articles contained in the print set as well as several thousand additional articles that are available only in the online version.

Over the years, the World Book has been characterized by its populist design. Unlike other encyclopedias, it has traditionally published in nonuniform volumes sized to match the letters of the alphabet. A letter with many entries might be split across two volumes, and adjacent letters with few entries would share a volume, but for the most part each volume covers a single letter. It also gives itself the flexibility to lay out major articles distinctively, often starting them on a page of their own, perhaps with a two-column heading. Though not called a "children's" encyclopedia, it is marketed as a family encyclopedia, and it recognizes the fact that one of the primary uses of general-purpose encyclopedias is for children working on school reports. For instance, every article for a U.S. state has a box giving such information as the official state bird, and in the 1960s and 1970s many science articles had instructions on ideas for science projects. Also, many articles offer suggestions for additional reading.

Other World Book products include The World Book Dictionary (1st edition in 1963), an encyclopedia for younger students called The World Book Student Discovery Encyclopedia (since 1999, previously Childcraft) and World Book's Animals of the World.

World Book, Inc., is a subsidiary of ScottFetzer Company, which is in turn a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary.

Computer Edition

World Book Encyclopedia is also published in electronic form for Microsoft Windows and Mac. Apple bundles a copy of World Book Encyclopedia with every iBook laptop computer sold. This edition of encyclopedia also includes online update, world atlas and several tools for students.

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