Why Books? Why are they important?
If you want to learn about the life of a particular person, or the history/background of an issue or topic, a book covers much more material than an article. Some books collect important essays discussing many "angles" of a topic, and many books are written by scholars; however, books take time to research and write, so while books have in-depth coverage, they might not always have the most recent information. Books are a great source to get an overview of a topic.
If your topic is not too recent or specialized, books might be a good option. The large amount of periodicals published makes it more likely that you will find articles on very narrow subjects which might not be easy to find represented in books.
Reference information sources can be helpful when beginning the research process. They can give you a working knowledge of your chosen subject area and:
Dictionaries provide word definitions and other information about words. There are many other types of dictionaries.
Biographical resources contain information about the lives and accomplishments of notable people in various fields of achievement or areas of study.
Encyclopedias provide brief articles explaining a topic. There are general encyclopedias like the Encyclopedia Britannica. There are also subject-specific encyclopedias that provide detailed, advanced and technical content in a particular area of study.
Handbooks and Guides contain detailed, advanced information about a particular subject area. This can include facts about a subject or instructions for operating a device or completing a procedure.