A is for Almanac

I’d test myself to see if I could remember which Presidents of the United States had been Secretary of State.

World Almanac 2016From the time I was about ten years old, I would get for Christmas a World Almanac almost every year. And I was happy.

When I was growing up, it was my parents making the purchase. As an adult, it would be a significant other, or else I would gift it to myself.

The almanac contained tons of statistics. Some of them were rather static: the highest mountains, the tallest rivers. But other info was ever changing, such as the largest cities, and the list of countries of the world – with a section of color maps!

There was a section on sports, with the most recent seasons in college basketball and football, the Olympic, and several professional sports.

I’d test myself to see if I could remember which Presidents of the United States had been Secretary of State, or what languages were most popular in the world. I’d check on the birthdays of celebrities or calculate the day of the week of some historic event.

In 1998, I started reading the World Almanac voraciously in anticipation of testing to get on the quiz show JEOPARDY! In truth, I don’t know that it helped glean new information, but it was nice to confirm things I already know.

My favorite editions are in the years following a Presidential election, when it breaks down the voting in great detail.

The best feature in the almanac is that it cites the sources of the data it provides, so if I needed more information, I know where to look.

Odd thing, though: I realized in 2014 and 2015, I wasn’t using the almanac as much as I did in the past. And in 2016, I never got a copy at all, for only the third time in over a half century.

But I will get the 2017 World Almanac, even if I have to buy it myself. After all, 2016 IS a Presidential election year.


ABC Wednesday – Round 19

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

11 thoughts on “A is for Almanac”

  1. I’ve had one form or another of reference books over the years including Whittakers and Old Moores Almanac…I guess the reason you didn’t get an almanac in 2016 is because, A) you haven’t got time to read it and, B) all you need to know is at your fingertips by way of the internet!

    Best Wishes,
    ABCW team.

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