How long would it take you to read every book in the world? Here are some facts to help you estimate!
How Many Books Are There In The World?
While it is impossible to say exactly how many books there are in the world, as of mid 2016 there was an estimated 134,021,533 books in the world. Another source estimates that approximately 2,200,000 are published each year. That means that at this point in 2017, we can estimate that there are approximately 136 million books in the world.
How Many Books Would You Have to Read Every Day to Read Every Book in the World Before You Die?
The average person lives 79 years, which means in order to read every book in the world right now, not even counting the new ones that will be released, you'd have to read about 1,721,519 books a year. That means that every single day you'd have to read 4,716 books to have any chance of reading every single book in the world right now. So, I hope you're a really fast reader, and that you were born knowing how to read.
However, if we're being honest, very few people are actually interested in reading every single book out there. There's hundreds of thousands of books published for trades, hobbies, reference, etc, that will not appeal to people not interested in that specific area. And that's not even taking into account those that haven't been translated into your language.
Good News For Fiction Readers (Kind Of)
In 2015 there were 2,714,409 books published and only 221,597 were classified as fiction (that's 8.2%). This may sound surprising because fiction novels seem to be everywhere. However, although only 8.2% of books published were fiction, fiction sales accounted for 23% of all book sales, which is why you probably expected there would be more fiction works published.
In reports put out by Bowker, this percentage of fiction to non-fiction books published has been the norm for the past several years. Across that time period, the average of fiction to non-fiction books published was 11%.
So if we assumed that this has been the average of fiction books published every year in the history of the world, then that means out of the approximately 136 million books existing in the world, only about 12,363,636 of them are fiction. Which means if you only wanted to read every single fiction novel in the world, you'd only have to read 156,501 books a year if you live the average 79 year life span, which is only about 429 books a day. While this still is pretty unattainable, it's seems almost reasonable compared to the 4,716 books you'd have to read a day if you included non-fiction books in your quest.
More Fun Book Facts
About 20 percent of the world's books are in the public domain, which means that, assuming you could find free digital copies of all of them, you could read 20% of the world's books for free. And that's not even counting all the free ones you could stock up on by subscribing to our free ebooks newsletter and taking advantage of all the limited-time offers.
How many books do you read on average a year? How many do you anticipate you'll read in your lifetime? What percentage of the world's books will that be? Let us know in the comments below.
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