Last week’s post was about global reading habits. This week sees the second instalment. Here are some interesting facts about global reading habits and the publishing industry in general. Click on the links to discover more.
According to Bowker and book industry data, as of September 2016, there were 134,021,533 unique books in the world. I am sure you will all agree that is a lot of books.
As we are all aware the number of self-published works has risen dramatically in recent years. But the figures are astounding. In 2015 alone, 727,125 ISBNs were applied to self-published works (print & digital books).
With regards to which country publishes the most books, I was under the impression it was America, but I was mistaken. China publishes the most. 440,000 as of 2013.
A few days ago I was emailed this infographic by one of its creators. It gives estimates as to how long it takes to read some of the world’s best-known books. Perhaps the readers they surveyed were Germans (world’s fastest readers). It certainly took a lot longer for me to read Brave New World (63,766 words) than the 3.54 hours estimated. I would be interested to hear from anyone who read Anna Karenina (349,736 words) in 19.43 hours.
This article from The Guardian claims that books are getting longer. It cites a survey purporting that the average book length increased by 25% between 2000 and 2015.
As for what format people are reading, in America at least print continues to be dominant. This Pew Research Center survey claims that 65% of Americans read a print book in 2015 whilst 28% read an e-book.
The most popular genres of all time according to this source (does not include non-fiction) is Children’s Fiction. As for the best-selling children’s books of all time, it is The Harry Potter Series (>450m).
I have written at length on this blog about the plethora of new book genres. Here is a link to some more of the stranger ones out there, including Cli-Fi, a spin-off of eco-fiction that consists of writing addressing climate change. And Cashier Memoir —true-life tales from behind the cash register.