Way back in time, well before the Wikipedia world, and even prior to CD-Roms (remember Encarta?), there were places where you went to look stuff up. They were called books. Or more specifically, the best you could use were called encyclopedias.
Ours lived behind the sofa in the nice lounge, tucked neatly (and all in order) in a bookcase that housed tens of these hard covered encyclopedias, along with about a hundred national geographic magazines. Black covered with gold writing on the spine, they looked like they knew exactly what they were talking about. At the age of eight and attempting to conquer another school project on volcanoes, I couldn't imagine there was anything these books didn't know.
I first learned the concept of an index and references between these covers; spending hours gently peeling across the tissue-paper thin pages, taking in the black and white pictures, maps, and diagrams, and occasionally even tracing them with kitchen paper.
Volume after volume, filled with more information than I could ever need to know, you were right there through school projects, exam study, and even family debates. You helped me grow to love the world of research; of pouring over pages just to find out more. I'm sad that my nieces won't get to run their fingers along the grand looking spines searching for the starting letter of their keyword; slowly pulling the weighty book from the shelf, and thumbing the pages until, there it is. All you could ever want to know about.....