Lots Of People Want Encyclopedias Now That They're Dead

Encyclopedia Britannica’s announcement that this year’s run of books will be its last has jolted demand back to life, helping the company sell all but 800 of its 4,000-set run.

A company spokesman explains the hotcakes-like sales to USA Today as a sign that some see the final edition of Britannica’s encyclopedias as keepsakes and possible investment opportunities:

“When people thought they were going to be around forever there was no rush to buy one and then suddenly, boom, and now there is a scarcity and it’s a collector’s item.”

The company is moving to an online-only model, ending its 244 years in print. And children will henceforth follow the adventures of plucky know-it-all Wikipedia Brown as he solves neighborhood crimes in young adult e-books.

Britannica’s halt of print edition triggers sales [USA Today]