Reference Books You Need (Even with the Internet!)

With the rise of the internet, reference books, such as dictionaries, encyclopedias and map books, have all become a bit forgotten. Seemingly gone are the days of rifling through your handy thesaurus to find a better word for school essays. Now, if anyone needs to extend their vocabulary they just type the request into their preferred search engine to get an instant answer. But, like all things retro, we think it's about time reference books made a dynamic comeback!

Alt Text

In the Days Before the Internet...

Reference books were around way before the internet. Whenever you needed to swot up on a topic you could pull out your trusty encyclopedia and in a few pages become an expert in that subject. Isn't that so much better than getting overwhelmed by the amount of search results that come up when you search for... well, just about anything. Plus, aren't you tired of playing detective and getting suspicious of everything you read because nearly every internet source has a reputation for being unreliable? You never had that worry with an encyclopedia! Just as the original movie is always better than the remake, our reference books are so much better than the websites and technology that have tried to steal their thunder over the last few years.

So, if any of the following phrases fill you with dread: 'power cut'... 'low battery'... 'no free Wi-Fi'... then maybe you need to remind yourself of the time before the internet and the rise of technology. You could self-diagnose with a medical encyclopedia and still have the same experience of convincing yourself you're dying only to wake up the next day completely fine before the internet made it possible!

Alt Text

Don't Wait For Technology to Let You Down

Back in the good old days no one had to pretend they'd get 1st place in a spelling bee, we all would carry our dictionaries with pride. And, instead of having the mission of figuring out how to use your smartphone's internet abroad, people used to pack a language book as their way of communicating in other countries. Let's face it, online translators are not always the most trustworthy sources, at least with a language book you can rely on it teaching you how to construct a grammatically correct sentence - it might take a little while but it'll be worth it and I'm sure that Spanish shopkeeper will really appreciate the time you spent finding out how to ask for an ice cream in the correct tense!

Alt Text

Retro and Reliable... We're Bringing Reference Books Back

Speaking of holidays, whatever happened to opening an atlas at a random page and deciding to go to whichever place you landed on (unless, of course, you end up on a page in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean)? And, while we're on the topic of maps, don't let a Sat Nav get you down - carry a road map in your car, they're cheap and reliable and won't leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere with a dead battery.

Alt Text

Prepare for the comeback of the century - some people collect vinyls, some collect vintage fashion pieces, but it's time for a whole new trend. Start living the real retro lifestyle with your collection of brilliant reference books. And, if anyone judges you for being a reference book enthusiast you can tell those netizens to absquatulate and when they ask you what those words mean you can look down at them over your glasses and tell them that what they need is a dictionary.

Check out some of best reference books to get your collection started:

Dictionary Series Collection - 4 Books by Linda Flavell

Collins Home Reference Collection - 7 Books

BMA A-Z Family Medical Encyclopedia

The Times Concise Atlas of the World

AA Road Atlas of Britain 2018

Collins Easy Learning German Dictionary

Collins Easy Learning Spanish Dictionary

Collins Gem French Phrasebook and Dictionary

  • CELS 9 years +
    9 years +
    • £2.99
    • RRP £9.99
    • Save £7.00Save 70.00%
    Whether you're learning Spanish for a holiday, a business trip or for your GCSE exams, the Collins Easy Learning Spanish Dictionary will help you master the basics of the language!

    Covering everyday Spanish themes, the dictionary also highlights those key curriculum words that will help with exam preparation. There are clear and concise language notes that provide information on common grammatical errors and words some may find confusing, while the book also looks at key cultural differences.

    All presented in Collins' accessible style, the dictionary will help you have confidence when it comes to speaking Spanish!
  • ALVMZ
    • £24.49
    • RRP £26.99
    • Save £2.50Save 9.0000000000000002131628207280300557613372802734375%
    This is an A-Z BMA visual guide to over 7,000 medical terms including symptoms, diseases, drugs and treatments. This new, revised sixth edition of the BMA's bestselling and definitive medical reference guide brings authoritative and up-to-date medical knowledge into your home. Stay up-to-date with medical advances and advice; from new developments in travel immunizations to the most recent guidelines for antenatal screening and the latest recommendations for breast awareness. It includes 3,000 diseases, disorders, conditions and symptoms, information on diagnosis & treatment, a wide range of drugs & tests, new & established surgical procedures and explanations of medical terms. Using jargon-free language and an easy-to-use A-Z format, 7,000 entries and more than 800 illustrations, this fully revised and updated edition remains the definitive medical reference book for every family.
  • CELG 9 years +
    9 years +
    • £2.99
    • RRP £9.99
    • Save £7.00Save 70.00%
    Whether you're learning German for a holiday, a business trip or for your GCSE exams, the Collins Easy Learning German Dictionary will help you master the basics of the language!

    Covering everyday German themes, the dictionary also highlights those key curriculum words that will help with exam preparation. There are clear and concise language notes that provide information on common grammatical errors and words some may find confusing, while the book also looks at key cultural differences.

    All presented in Collins' accessible style, the dictionary will help you have confidence when it comes to speaking German!
  • TCAW
    • £14.99
    • RRP £90.00
    • Save £75.01Save 82.999999999999996589394868351519107818603515625%
    A stunning book that comes in a protective slipcase, this fully revised and updated edition of The Times: Concise Atlas of the World provides beautiful and comprehensive reference mapping for countries across the world.

    The atlas covers all the most important geographical issues we face and the populations of the major cities are also included. Historical maps show the political make-up of the world over the past 150 years and there are also plans for 41 of the world's major cities.

    The expanded satellite imagery section contains overview images of each continent, and they're all complemented by further detailed images. A wonderful addition to any household, the reference book helps you explore the world without even having to leave your armchair.
  • Collins Home Reference Collection - 7 Books - Collection - 9780007935925
    HREF
    (2)
    • £8.99
    • RRP £48.93
    • Save £39.94Save 80.9999999999999948840923025272786617279052734375%
    • Just £1.28 per book
    With a dictionary, thesaurus and guides to spelling, grammar and punctuation, this seven-book collection will help you get to grips with the English language.

    A perfect selection of reference books and dictionaries for the home, office or for studies, all these books will become essential additions to your bookshelf.

    For those who enjoy word games, the collection includes an introductory guide to Scrabble, as well as a Crossword Solver's Dictionary. The Book of Quotations will also come in very handy, especially when it comes to writing an essay, manuscript or dissertation.
  • AARD
    • £4.99
    • RRP £14.99
    • Save £10.00Save 65.9999999999999982946974341757595539093017578125%
    Despite the popularity of satnavs and Google Maps, there is still nothing better than a physical map to help you get where you need to go while navigating Britain's roads and motorways.

    This spiral-bound atlas, brought to you by the experts at the AA, features clear mapping and 112 city, town and port plans. Each page has been titled with its geographical location so that you can find the page you need with ease and there is also a comprehensive 31,500 entry index with airports, tourist sites and motorways services listed.

    Static speed camera locations are also indicated, along with their speed limits, while National Trust, English and World Heritage and tourist attractions are also all featured. The AA even highlight their top 300 AA-inspected caravan and camping sites!
  • The Dictionary Series Collection - Collection - 9780857833471 - Linda Flavell
    TDIC
    • £6.99
    • RRP £35.00
    • Save £28.01Save 79.999999999999998863131622783839702606201171875%
    • Just £1.75 per book
    Covering idioms, proverbs, word origins and the history of the English language, this four-book collection will make a perfect present for anyone who loves words.

    If you've ever noticed that 'out of sight, out of mind' and 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' can't both be true, these books are for you. They look at where these pieces of wisdom come from and how their meanings have changed and evolved over time.

    Linking hundreds of words with historical upheavals and minor social changes, these books also provide explanations and meanings for thousands of rather illogical-sounding idioms.