This is so sad to me. I started 'reading' the encyclopedia when I was about 2 years old. My mom talks about getting up in the night and finding me sitting on the living room floor with the encyclopedia checking out the pictures.
Later, I remember making a goal for myself - I must have been about 8 or 9, that I would read the entire encyclopedia from A - Z. I can't remember if I ever reached that goal but I know I started.
Here's an interesting set of stats from the article in the Daily Mail (online version, of course):
A quarter of children do not know what an encyclopaedia is, with one in ten thinking it is something you cook with, travel on, use to catch a ball or to perform an operation.
The research findings, from Birmingham Science City, give an insight into the growing use of digital resources compared to print counterparts.
Below is a snapshot of the results of the survey of 500 six to 15-year-olds across the UK:
- Almost half (45%) have never used a print encyclopaedia, yet more than three quarters (76%) have used Wikipedia.
- The majority (54%) of six to 15-year-olds admit Google is their first point of call when they have a question.
- Nearly a fifth (19%) have never used a print dictionary.
- The majority (91%) of children use Google, with almost half (47%) 'Googling' at least five times a day and a fifth (18%) using the search engine ten times or more daily.
- When Google is not able to help, a fifth of children would then look to Wikipedia for answers.
- The results show that while youngsters are clued up on how to search the net, few are as comfortable with more traditional sources of information.