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Q: Amount of books in the USA and in the world? ( Answered ,   2 Comments )
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 Subject: Amount of books in the USA and in the world? Category: Reference, Education and News Asked by: neoportal-ga List Price: \$35.00 Posted: 24 Nov 2004 17:06 PST Expires: 24 Dec 2004 17:06 PST Question ID: 433693
 ```Please help me find these numbers so that I can use for my business estimate as we're going to launch a somewhat disruptive product that deals with books. 1. How many books, and book titles are sold per year (you can answer just the recent years) in the USA, China and the world? 2. How many books and book titles (total, all years combined back to recorded history, maybe Library of Congress have some numbers) that have ever printed in the USA, and in the world? I understand that no one would know the exact figure. But please give me your best estimates and explain the process that lead to such answers. The more convincing, detailed and accurate, the better. Thanks.``` Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 24 Nov 2004 19:22 PST ```neoportal-ga, Your best bet for getting some perspective on this might be the "How Much Information" reports that come out of Berkeley, where they attempt to estimate the total amount of information stored and flowing in the world. Here's what they have to say about both the total numbers of books, and the numbers of individual book titles: ========== A. Books 1. The flow of books. World. We calculate that the total world flow of book copies was approximately 4.0 billion books, extrapolating once again from U.S. production figures [???]. This is equivalent to about 32,000 TB of digital data. In our last study, there were 2.75 billion books sold worldwide, which was equivalent to about 22,000 TB of digital data. This represents growth of over 45% since 1999. United States. About 1.62 billion books were purchased in the United States in 2001, according to Barrie Rappaport at IPSOS-NPD. Using the 8 MB/book estimate, this is equivalent to 129,600 TB. In our last study, there were 1.6 billion books sold worldwide, which was equivalent to about 128,000 TB of digital data. This represents a growth of 1.25% since 1999. 2. The stock of books. United States. In March 2003, 2,078,051 book titles were available and for sale in some form. In all there were 4,123,094 book titles, including the "out of print" books according to the Books in Print records provided by Andrew Grabois of R.R. Bowker. These numbers include only books made for commercial publication, not books or other materials meant for private circulation. During our last study in 1999, Books in Print had about 1.66 million titles for sale and 3.2 million titles in all listed. This marks a 25% increase in books available for purchase and about a 30% increase in the number of listed books. Increasingly out of print book titles are available from publishers through 'just in time' printing, which may account for some of the increase. This represents a fraction of the total number of books ever written. That there has been an increase in the number of books in Books in Print's universe indicates that even the data on the total number of books being retroactively catalogued is changing constantly. If one wished to more fully address the universe of book titles in the United States, including government publications, books that are no longer in print, and some books that were written and submitted for copyright but never published commercially, one could look to the holdings of the larger national libraries and copyright repositories. For example, the Library of Congress print media collection includes 26 million titles (208 terabytes). World. To estimate the international stock of books currently available for purchase, we extrapolate from the United States production figures. The U.S. engages in the world's largest trade in printed products, producing about 40% of the world's printed material, according to the U.S. Industry and Trade Outlook 2000. However, in the past, the U.S. has not been as dominant, though production was also significantly less. It could be speculated then that somewhere less than 40% of worldwide stock of books exists in the U.S. - more specifically, it could be speculated that this number is probably in the range of 15% and 35%, more likely on the lower end. Using the same ballpark estimates, we can also estimate the worldwide stock of books (including those out of print). The national library and copyright repository of the United States - the Library of Congress - contains about 26 million books. Therefore, the world stock of original books might be between 74 million books and 175 million books (the lower figure if the U.S. represents 35% of world's published books, the upper figure if the U.S. is closer to 15%) ========== Does that get at what you need? If not, what other specific figures would help to fill in the blanks? Let us know, pafalafa-ga``` Clarification of Question by neoportal-ga on 24 Nov 2004 20:56 PST ```pafalafa-ga, your answer is helpful. Let me frame question so that u can answer with more precision if you could add some. 1. Because of the nature of my product, we are only interested in hard-format books. We are not interested in soft format digital files or info available on the net, or music, DVDs, that could be translated into KB,MB, GB,or TB. What concerns us is how many books have been in print format in USA, China, and the world combined. You have answered USA, and the World. Do you have answers of China as well? Some guidances on where I could find data on other countries (the European Union, Japan, Korea and Taiwan) would be appreciated. 2. Could you provide citations, or actual URLs of the sources that you are referencing? For example, in your response "In our last study, there were 1.6 billion books sold worldwide". It's not quite clear from where this study come. All in all, your answer is great, makes sense, and almost complete.``` Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 25 Nov 2004 09:38 PST ```Hello neoportal-ga, I've been looking into the data on worldwide books, and I can tell that the Berkeley folks have done an awfully good job on their study. So much so, that it would be hard to improve upon or expand the numbers they provide. The bottom line seems to be that the US is far more information-rich -- in terms of available publishing statistics -- than other areas of the world. So the best one can do is summarize the US data, and then guesstimate what's happening elsewhere. This how the Berkeley study created its worldwide estimates. So, as far as the specific items you mentioned: >>1. Because of the nature of my product, we are only interested in hard-format books. We are not interested in soft format digital files or info available on the net, or music, DVDs, that could be translated into KB,MB, GB,or TB.<< Understood. The Berkeley study focuses on bytes, but bases their calculations on the numbers of hard-copy books in existence, so their information is highly relevant to your question. >>What concerns us is how many books have been in print format in USA, China, and the world combined. You have answered USA, and the World. Do you have answers of China as well? Some guidances on where I could find data on other countries (the European Union, Japan, Korea and Taiwan) would be appreciated.<< Sorry...but I am not finding data for other countries/regions, and neither did the Berkeley study. Their worldwide figures are simple extrapolations of US data. >>2. Could you provide citations, or actual URLs of the sources that you are referencing?<< Of course. That sort of information would be part of any answer I provide for you. >>All in all, your answer is great, makes sense, and almost complete.<< Glad to hear it. My question to you now is...How can I best complete this answer for you? What I can offer is: --More information and links to the Berkeley study, to reference the estimates I provided earlier. --Links to other sites that update US book publishing statistics -- in terms of total numbers of books (not titles) published -- and also break out these figures into major categories -- children's books, and books for adults. For 2004, it is expected there will be 2.25 billion books printed in the US. Let me know if that information would suffice as an answer to your question, even without the detailed breakouts from other countries. Thanks. pafalafa-ga``` Clarification of Question by neoportal-ga on 25 Nov 2004 11:15 PST ```Ok, it suffices. I think it's the best anyone can do. I understand that it's hard to get info from other countries. Thanks again. You did a great job.```
 Subject: Re: Amount of books in the USA and in the world? Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 25 Nov 2004 15:30 PST Rated:
 ```neoportal-ga, Thanks for giving me the go-ahead on this. I have a bit of good news -- I did manage to find some additional data that takes us a bit beyond the Berkeley report. I've summarized the available information in the answer, below. Before rating the answer, though, please let me know if you need any additional information. Just post a Request for Clarification, and I'll be happy to assist you further. Best of luck with your "disruptive" product. pafalafa-ga ========== First off, a summary of the Berkeley data from their "How Much Information? 2003" report. You can find the full report segement that discussed books at: http://www.sims.berkeley.edu/research/projects/how-much-info-2003/print.htm They found the following: For the world: --4.0 billion books were published in 2003 --Between 74 million and 175 million individual titles exist in the world --About 950,000 titles were published in 2003 For the US: --1.62 billion books were purchased in the US --2.087 million book titles are available for sale in the US --4.12 million book titles are available in total -- current "for sale" + "out of print" books -- 141,901 new titles publised in 2003 ========== The worldwide figure of 950,000 for the number of titles in a year comes from UNESCO statistics which -- although very incomplete, and a bit dated -- are probably your best source of country-by-country comparisions. The data through 1999 can be seen at: http://www.uis.unesco.org/TEMPLATE/html/HTMLTables/culture/book.htm and show that the largest book-publishing countries (with statistics available) include: Canada and Brazil, each with 20,000-25,000 new titles a year. France, 40-50,000 per year Germany, 71-78,000 per year Iran 10-15,000 per year Italy 30-34,000 Japan, about 56,000 Poland, 12-19,000 Russia, 33-36,000 Spain, 46-59,000 Switzerland, 15-18,000 UK, 101-110,000 US, around 68,000 [much lower estimate that the Berkeley figure] ========== The UNESCO data doesn't give figures for China, but there are some available around the web. This article from China.org provides some figures: http://www.china.org.cn/english/features/38320.htm By the end of 2001, a total of ... 6.35 billion books were published nationwide. ...China now has over 560 publishing houses, which offer new and established books of about 100,000 titles to the market every year. A similar perspective --but different numbers -- can be found in this posting from the Chinese Embassy: http://www.chinese-embassy.org.uk/eng/sgsm/t27145.htm The Chinese people also enjoy broad accesses to information. In 1998 ...7.24 billion books of over 130,000 titles were published. [Note that the Chinese figures for total number of books, alone, are larger than the total World figures provided by Berkeley. Without knowing where the Chinese data actually comes from, it's hard to know how seriously to take the numbers] ========== Lastly, this report from the Book Industry Study Group provides very up-to-date figures for book publishing in the US: http://www.bisg.org/publications/trends2004info.pdf Book Industry TRENDS 2004 US book publishers printed 2.222 billion books in 2003, and projected 2.249 billion for 2004. These figures include 536 million books sold in the "Adult Trade" and another 535 million in the Juvenile Trade in 2003. ========== I hope this information fully meets your needs. But again, just let me know if there's anything else you need. All the best, pafalafa-ga search strategy -- Mostly used bookmarked sites for information and book industry stats, but also searched on Google for [ "3..300 billion books" ]```
 neoportal-ga rated this answer: and gave an additional tip of: \$4.00 `Already good answer but even more fantastic with most recent answer added.`

 ```Thanks so much for your kind and generous feedback -- it adds to my Thanksgiving! All the best with your project. paf```
 ```US, around 68,000 [much lower estimate that the Berkeley figure] make that 68,001 since i just got my new book published, Cymbal Technique 101 which can be found at www.cymbaltechnique101.com```