Sifting through a yearbook not so long ago was an enjoyable ritual keenly awaited. It would tell us about the important events in the year gone by – sporting records, revolutions, natural disasters, political happenings and so on. Though with the advent of Internet, their prominence has diminished a touch, for genuine book lovers who relish general information, something like the Scholastic Yearbook 2013 can be a good gift. Budhaditya Bhattacharya of The Hindu narrates in article what makes it interesting:

  • The year 2012 began with the sinking of the Costa Concordia where 30 people died and more than 60 were injured, a massive power outage in India, the Olympics, new Presidents in India, Egypt and France, Hurricane Sandy and the re-election of Barack Obama. The yearbook tells you all this in more detail with accompanying illustrations by animation filmmaker Priya Kurian.
  • “Visual breaks make information more palatable and the yearbook’s layout is geared towards breaking the tedium of the text with the help of illustrations,” Tina Narang, the managing editor of Scholastic states. “We commission various subject experts and journalists to write for the Yearbook…and Yearbook 2013 has a particularly long line-up. There is a financial journalist with a round-up of the economy, a Supreme Court advocate on the landmark Indian court judgements, a fashion journalist on the latest from the world of fashion.”
  • The tedium of the text is also broken by dividing it into distinct categories such as sports, entertainment, science and environment. Apart from data about the year 2012, the book also provides a timeline of India and the world, an overview of the states and countries respectively, and lists important office bearers. Naturally, such an effort couldn’t have been one person’s handiwork.
  • Some of the contributors are Jaya Bhattacharji Rose, an independent publishing consultant, Brinda Miller, director of Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Mumbai and Amrita Lahiri, a Mumbai based Kuchipudi dancer, among others.
  • The yearbook ends with a series of ‘top ten’ lists — of famous monuments, population densities, richest countries, and most spoken languages. The book is intended for students and general knowledge aficionados, but can the utility of the yearbook, as an object, withstand the pressures of the internet, which has arguably spawned a new kind of nerd?

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