Reference Books You Can't Help Browsing In

Extollager

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Dictionaries, encyclopedias, atlases, gazetteers, almanacs that you take to look up something, and often find yourself reading around in?

Mine include these favorites:

Peter Nicholls, ed. The Science Fiction Encyclopedia (1979)
John Sutherland, The Stanford Companion to Victorian Fiction (in the UK the book is The Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction) (1989)

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Randy M.

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That Clute and the other Clute, The Encyclopedia of Fantasy.

One of the joys lost in looking up words online is browsing a dictionary and seeing unfamiliar words and getting in lost in one after the other.
 

Toby Frost

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Definitely this! It has terrific illustrations.

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I used to be fascinated by dinosaurs as a child (I still think they're great) and some of my dinosaur books were fairly serious. I liked this one in particular, although there were others.

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I've also ended up with a small collection of coffee-table type design books, usually "the art of" some film or game that I found particularly interesting to look at. I'm not sure that they count here.
 

Rodders

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I've always been fascinated with maps and Atlases. Nothing specific, but you can get lost in them.

Encyclopaedia's are always a wonderful way to kill time. Everything's online now, but I remember being fascinated with a the Encyclopaedia of things that never were by Michael Page.

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The Star Trek and Star Wars encyclopaedia of old were also a great was to spend time, but they're all on line now and it's not the same.
 

hitmouse

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Yes to the Peter Nichols SF Encyclopedia (which had a different cover in the UK), and the Dictionary of Imaginary Places.

This has been my favourite for looking-up-something-specific-leading-to-prolonged-browsing for a number of years now:
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Alan Davidson was a very interesting man.

I am also a bit of a sucker for photography books, and this is my all-time favourite:

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KGeo777

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I have the Encyclopedia of Things That Never Were


The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural 1986 is another.
 

Astro Pen

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(Yes area 51 is included along with less famous but no less interesting places like the Rosslyn Chapel vault, sealed in 1690 and never re opened)
 

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