Friday, May 18, 2007

Reference Books

The first grandchild, currently called “Doodle Bug” until its sex becomes known, should have a proper intellectual start in the world. I’m thinking reference books would be an appropriate gift. I am torn between the complete 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary and the Encyclopedia Britannica. Or should I go retro and get the 1911 Eleventh Edition of Britannica?

An atlas or an anatomy might be more appropriate for a young child, what with the color pictures and all. I am going to find this decision difficult.

6 comments:

akafred said...

Ummmm. Have you simply considered "Ducky had a Nice Day" for the poor lad/lass?

Jonathan Wyman said...

Please not the 1911. I would enjoy the gift right up until the child did its first science report on phrenology or eugenics or something equally awful.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Careful you, or it'll be Calvin's Commentaries http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?item_no=24442&p=1018818

Lelia said...

How about Pratchett's "Where's My Cow?"
Actually, now I'm sorry I gave away my set, I think a 50s edition. I learned so much reading that as a kid. It had references and I used them to learn even more about the Incan Empire. It sounded ideal to me when I was eleven. At 54, I see better the flaws.

Giacomo said...

Seuss. Always Seuss. My personal favorite is The Sneetches collection, which I can recite now fully from memory, including the delightful "What was I scared of."

Michael said...

Encyclopedias are so 20th century. Who buys them in the 21st century when all of the information is on line? Sure, you and I may have picked up the A volume and read until we got to Z, but that will not be the learning style of your granddoodlebug. Take the encyclopedia money and buy the child a laptop, for crying out loud.