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The New York Public Library Desk Reference Hardcover – August 18, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0028621692 ISBN-10: 0028621697 Edition: 3 Sub

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Product Details

  • Series: New York Public Library Desk Reference
  • Hardcover: 960 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Inc; 3 Sub edition (August 18, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0028621697
  • ISBN-13: 978-0028621692
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7.7 x 2.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,513,522 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

If time is of the essence, you can find what you seek in a jiffy (an actual unit of time meaning 1/100 of a second) in the New York Public Library Desk Reference's chapter 1: "Time and Dates." Once there, however, beware. You may begin by looking up what time it is in Addis Ababa when it's 12 noon in New York (8 p.m. is what you'll discover), but ere long you'll be browsing the perpetual calendar (1775 to 2098), refreshing your memory as to what fortnightly means (once every two weeks, just as you thought), and skimming the lists of major holidays worldwide. But "Times and Dates" is just the beginning. Section I--"The Physical World"--also contains vast data pertaining to weights and measures, biology, the physical sciences, mathematics, and technology, plus inventions and scientific discoveries. Delving therein you can find how many cubic inches are in a pint, how to diagnose and treat constipation in your pet, which plants are poisonous, what tropism means, when the next total eclipse of the sun will take place, the URLs for major Internet search engines, and the toll-free phone numbers for major national Internet service providers.

Other sections of the desk reference include music, literature, and the visual arts, religions, philosophy, and museums around the world, alphabets, grammar, and daily etiquette. Life-saving first-aid procedures are described, as are cooking tips, stain-removal advice, personal-finance details, and legal information, plus useful addresses and phone numbers relating to adoption, disabilities, and domestic violence, alcoholism, family planning, and television networks. With sections on travel, sports and games, as well as the United States and the political world, this is an irreplaceable reference of great scope and value. It is the mark of a great reference that the information you desire be readily accessible when deadlines threaten, and endlessly entertaining in your leisure hours; the New York Public Library Desk Reference flawlessly passes both tests. --Stephanie Gold

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By "dpallmann" on February 19, 1999
I'm torn between praise for this book and condemnation for those who typeset it. What the other reviews say are true: there's a wealth of information on every page. It's surprising how much information there is in this one volume.
However, I've also got to remark how surprised and disappointed I was to find severe formatting problems in the typesetting of this book. In many charts, information ends up in the wrong columns (example: the chart listing U.S. Presidents). Shockingly, the chart listing the "50 states" and their capitals only contains 48 states, leaving out Maine and Wyoming! As useful as this book is, these kinds of problems make one wonder about the accuracy of any of the information in it.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By knightson on March 14, 2002
This is an excellent reference book for the house. Anytime my wife or I have a broad or general question our first stop is this book. I can't wait until they produce an updated one. The only thing about this book is that some small facts seem to be slightly off; e.g. the enlisted grades for the United States Air Force still list an E-4 as a Buck Sergeant which was changed to Senior Airman around 1995 or so. Because of this small discrepancy sometimes I question the facts in the book since I don't necessarily have first hand knowledge to verify there data. Overall this has been a great book and I would recommend it to anyone.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By CD Harris on March 25, 2000
This is a fantastic book to have on your shelf for those times when you simply must know something right this minute. But I don't recommend it as a stand alone source because there are some errors in it (surprising for a 3d edition).
Still, as a general reference, this volume is unsurpassed. On the whole, it rates as "very good" - the scope is broader than any other book of its kind and it's laid out well enougn that it's pretty easy to find the information you want when you need it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 5, 2001
I read through this reference book and I was pleased to see how much information was included. I have noticed that other reviewers have pointed out inaccurate facts. I thought it would be a great book to have on a table, or shelf somewhere in every home. If I planned on researching something thoroughly, I would cross-reference any information between several sources. The New York Public Library Desk Reference would be a great place to start. If you have curious children with lots of questions (like I do) buy this book.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Joseph M. Futrelle on November 24, 1999
I've already found several errors and omissions in this book. For instance, the music section contains errors, such as its dubious claim that "all popular songs can be accompanied by three chords". There is no section on mental health or psychology, which I consider a major omission. And some of the tables are indeed labelled incorrectly. I do think this is a handy book, but because of its omissions and errors is often not a usable substitute for authoritative references on many of its subtopics. For many applications, a one-volume encyclopedia would be a better choice.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mamalov on March 3, 2008
Amazon is apparently unaware that the Fourth Edition of this book (The New York Public Library Desk Reference) was published in 2002. The Third Edition, which is what Amazon is trying to sell to us, came out in 1998. Don't waste your money on out of date reference material, unless, of course, you are doing historical research.

Amazon: Shame on you!
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Verified Purchase
I've found this book to be a very handy tool in answering the most common questions. Though, as with any general reference, the details of many items are lacking. This is certainly no replacement for your encylopedias, but it is a very well organize tome containing many of the most frequently asked questions.
This book is an excellent starting point for research projects, though for any indepth analysis you will quickly find yourself moving on to other sources.
As with any reference, this one is starting to become out-dated (I refer to the 3rd edition from 1998). I'm sure the authors will continually update it so that it continues to be an important source for the answers to most questions.
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