Has the internet replaced reference books?

The Freakonomics blog has a post entitled “Which Reference Books Have to Be in Your Library?” referencing essential books for the home library.

In the list so far:

1. World Almanac
2. Yale Book of Quotations
3. Oxford Atlas of the World
4. Merck Manual of Medical Information
5. American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language

Commenters note that one doesn’t need a hard bound book for reference anymore, with the ease of the internet.  Is this true?  Can we completely rule out hard bound reference books?  Some things to consider…

  • Not all books containing important reference information have a home online
  • You’re more likely to use a dictionary to look up words while reading if its right next to you