Sure Why Not

Wikipedia Is Being Turned Into a 1,000-Volume Book Set So Can We Use It For Homework Now?

Some people are trying to crowdfund $50,000 to make this a reality.

Does this mean we can start using Wikipedia for our homework? It's a book! (Indiegogo)

Wikipedia, in book form. (Indiegogo)

Are you one of those annoying, self-righteous people who hates reading things on screens because you “just love the weight of a book in your hand and the smell of the pages”? If so, we have good news: some people are trying to crowdfund a project to print all of Wikipedia into a 1,000-volume book set.

The Indiegogo campaign, called “The Wikipedia Books Project,” was started by a team of developers at PediaPress, a company that lets users make printed books from Wikipedia content. They’re asking for $50,000 to print all of English Wikipedia — that’s more than 4 million articles, apparently — into a series of 1,000 books, each with 1,200 pages, and then display the mammoth collection at a huge Wikimedia conference in London

“We all know that Wikipedia is huge. The English version alone consists of more than 4 million articles. But can you imagine how large Wikipedia really is?” the campaign page says. “We think that the best way to experience the size of Wikipedia is by transforming it into the physical medium of books.” That seems like a good use of time. And trees.

“…Containing the most volumes and edited by the largest number of contributors[,] the printed edition will be a work of record breaking dimensions,” the project description continues. “Furthermore the exhibit aims to honor the countless volunteers who have created this fascinating trove of knowledge in little more than ten years.”

You know, we really do owe a thank-you to the volunteers who inserted a paragraph on anal sex into the article on Rome our dad was innocently trying to read to us on a plane ride when we were 15. “Fascinating trove of knowledge,” indeed!

Following the exhibition, the PediaPress team says they’d like to donate the project to a public library. “To later generations this might be a period piece from the beginning of the digital revolution,” the campaign page says. Or just an immortal testament to how lazy we all were when it came to doing any real research. 

So far, the campaign has almost reached the $3,000 mark, and there are 50 days to go. The exhibition is set to take place this August, so make sure you get all your filthy fake corrections in by then. 

Follow Jordyn Taylor on Twitter or via RSS. jtaylor@observer.com