Books: You Can Look It Up

Picking the best among three encyclopedias

Encyclopedias, according to the encyclopedia, are books containing basic knowledge in all areas of life. Many publications have answered that description in their time, from the medieval compendiums to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, first published in 1768, to three contemporary one-volume works. Which one of that trio is best? It depends on the size of the reader's requirements, bank account and bookshelf:


2,912 pages; $129.95

The third edition of The Random House Encyclopedia weighs as much as a standard Christmas turkey (12 lbs. 5 oz.) but provides longer-lasting nourishment. On its pages are some 3 million words of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!