- Series: NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY DESK REFERENCE
- Hardcover: 960 pages
- Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Inc; Subsequent edition (August 18, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0028621697
- ISBN-13: 978-0028621692
- Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.2 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,638,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The New York Public Library Desk Reference Subsequent Edition
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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
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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.
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.
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.