Musing Mondays: For reference

Do you keep reference books on your shelves at home? What’s your first port of call when you need information – the internet or a book?

I have a ton of reference works on my shelves that I dip into with varying frequency. Two, however, aren’t with the rest. There’s a well worn paperback American Heritage dictionary on the headboard of the bed and a hardcover Webster’s dictionary on the bookshelf where I usually sit and read at home. That’s because I tend to look up words far more frequently than check some other compendium of information.

As for general information, I tend to use the internet far more frequently now. I tend to keep a notepad near where I am reading and will jot down names, events or other items that I want to look up later. Goggle is just faster than digging through the reference books I have.

If a word in the dictionary were mispelled, how would we know?

Steven Wright

That, in fact, is one of the things I somewhat look forward to with ebook readers — the ability to highlight a name or event and have immediate access to online information about it. Part of that stems from my increased reading of foreign literature, which often references places and events with which I am unfamiliar. At the same time, I fear that such instant access will lead me off on tangents and disrupt the flow of the book I am reading

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