Dictionaries, who needs them? In this, the age of Wikipedia, information doesn’t come neatly packaged and spelling things correctly the first time has become a thing of the past (I can’t be the only person who expects red wavy lines to appear under my handwriting!).
There is, however, something very reassuring about the weight of a dictionary. It’s density gives it an authority than any amount of Google hits will fall short of. This particular dictionary, published by Virtue and Company, offers something more than etymology and definitions. It is an encyclopaedic dictionary and tries to cover the breadth of human knowledge in just over a thousand pages. By necessity, it is a concise work and it is possible to flick from Durian fruit to a diagram of a Penberthy injector in a matter of pages. Sometimes that’s exactly what you want when you’re pondering the exact definition of filoplume.