Books and authors

Google estimates that there have been created 129,864,880 books as of this week, see the post for a definition of book by Google.

Looking at the world population as of today (7,032,852,000) if the book authorship was shared equally in the world each person would be responsible for 0.0184654647 of a book. Now clearly most of the books would actually have been published prior to the current population being born, and there have been over 100 billion people born thus far, so if we add another 0 (and some change) we find that each person is responsible for 0.00122476079 of a book (note most authors actually write more than one book, and so the figure is more realistically 0.0007 for everyone else but we won’t go that far)

So have you contributed your 0.001% or so to the world’s books? If not, why not?

yep, me 4.62%


2 thoughts on “Books and authors

  1. I’d argue that most librarians have contributed to the world’s books, even if they’ve been too slack to get published (like me!). I’ve:

    * united researchers and information via the reference desk – teaching them how to search for stuff, looked for missing citation details for an article due at the editor on Monday, etc

    * told authors how to get their ISBN

    * added heaps of metadata to records so that the information circulates into the heads of researchers, where it simmers until it comes out as delicious publications

    * less directly, helped students do better with assignments, which may have led to them staying on longer at uni and eventually publishing something.


  2. @Kath Heh, I wasn’t saying that librarians hadn’t contributed, I would never ever attack librarians. Librarians contribute hugely to the production of all knowledge and culture.

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