Encyclopaedia Britannica has announced it has stopped printing books because its multimedia CD-Rom version is a much bigger seller.
The end of a tradition reaching back more than 200 years came about because the company now sells only a minimal number of books, compared with 150,000 CD-Roms every year in Europe alone.
Price is also a major factor. A full set of volumes costs £900 while the computerised version, containing the same information, is priced at just £89.
"The economics of the encyclopaedia business mean it is far more profitable for us to concentrate on electronic publishing rather than book publishing," said a spokesperson for the company.
The company said it sells far more of the CD-Rom versions and consumer feedback has been that they are “far more user friendly”.
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