Most helpful positive review
48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2012
It seems like a lot of reviewers here haven't gotten the point. This book is:
- NOT a reference to look things up in (that's what Google and Wikipedia are for)
- NOT a completely comprehensive guide to subject X (it's already 1300+ pages, how much more do you want?!)
- NOT 100% perfect in every single detail, number, spelling, list inclusion, etc.
- NOT perfectly balanced in how many inches are given to one type of literature vs another, etc.
So if you're looking for any of those, this is NOT the book.
What the book IS (besides being really heavy), is a fantastic overview of human knowledge in general, to read gradually from cover to cover (or at random) over a year or two. In a lot of senses, it's what high school and college should have taught us all, but never did. If you're a person curious about the world, this book is a great starting point to see what kind of knowledge you've missed in your life up until now. And then, whatever you're more curious about, you can buy more books on that.
I personally have started reading a section every morning at breakfast. A friend of mine listens to a TED Talk every morning on the way to work. I think they're comparable experiences, and both great, intellectually stimulating ways to start the day.
Some people have read the Encyclopedia Britannica from A to Z. You can read this in a lot less time, and probably walk away remembering almost the same amount of material.
Nitpick: why doesn't it come with one of those long, thin, red fabric bookmarks sewn into the binding? If any book ever needed one, this one does.