On the left, The Standard Dictionary of Facts (1914). On the right, The Standard Question Book and Home Study Outlines (1919).
The Question Book is… well-titled. It’s a book of questions organized along the lines of The Dictionary: History, Language, Literature… .
Let us suppose we are interested in testing our knowledge of, or learning more about, American history. Refer first to The Question Book’s index, find subhead American under History. (Note the explicit assumption that– in a book published in Buffalo, New York, and given the relative number of pages allotted– folks are more interested in American history than any other geographic region’s.) The 17 pages of questions about American history are subdivided by era or period.
First question: Name five Norseman who visited America in the 10th and 11th centuries. In what early writings are accounts of their voyages found?
Lief? So let’s move on to The Revolutionary Period, two pages of questions. Each question has a corresponding page number(s) which refers one to the location of the answer in The Dictionary. Think of the relationship between the two books as a primitive search engine.
Question: Mention the important conquests made by Ethan Allen. 169, 396, 162
p169 (History, United States of America): … Lexington, April19, 1775 … AH! Allen leads volunteers from Vermont and Connecticut, seizes forts at Ticonderoga (May 10) and Crowne Point (May 12).
p396 (Biography): entry for Allen
p162 (history in dictionary form): entry for Ticonderoga
Primitive search engine, indeed. This will be fun!
Each of those shots was zoomed out to capture more entries than what I typically see on my MacBook screen. Only DDG gives me a Wiki on the man right at the top.
So, yeah– Miss-You-Only-Need-Thirty-Books– I’ll keep my
crappy old books because I may want to know the crappy old facts contained in them, thank you.