"Publishers making this an age of encyclopedias: more than 15,000 new ones in the past 10 years. In a Google world, why?"
Two reasons - one technological and one qualitative. Despite the rapid decline of information's cost, the written page is still easier on our senses. When digital paper is cheap (something post-Kindle), this will change. Then, one unfortunate side effect of the declining cost of information is the concomitant declining quality of disseminated ... information. We still appreciate information that's processed and sifted as we find in books, newspapers, etc. When information cost more, more information was processed. Now that dissemination is so cheap, perspective and analysis and, sadly, truth are sometimes lacking. The declining cost of information is a marvelous characteristic of our age, but it's not an unmitigated positive in terms of unintended consequences.