How Many Books Are Out There?

We love to read and we bet you do, too. How many books do you think you’ve read? And hey, how many books are there in the whole world? Back in 2010 Google counted 130 million different books. This other website estimates that 3/4 million new books are added to the world every year. So while you can start a new chapter anytime, you’ll never finish them all!

Wee ones: What shape are the bookshelves in the picture?

Little kids: If you read 1 book in January, 3 books in February, 5 books in March, and keep up the pattern, how many books will you read in April? Bonus: If you keep up the pattern all year, will there be any months where you read exactly 16 books?

Big kids: If 1,000 books are published every day, would that add up to 1 million books in 1 year? (Reminder: 1 year has 365 days – unless it’s a leap year with 366 days!) Bonus: If you pick up a book that was 156 pages long, but your pet parakeet chewed up 28 pages, how many pages are left for you to read?

The sky’s the limit: If there are 138 million books right now, and 750,000 new books get added each year, how many years will it take for the number of unique books in the world to double what it is now?

Wee ones: Rectangles.

Little kids: 7 books – 2 more than in March! Bonus: No, you will read 15 books in August and 17 books in September. But you don’t have to count that far if you realize 16 is an even number!

Big kids: No, that would add up to only 365,000 books. Bonus: 128 pages.

The sky’s the limit: 184 years. We need 138 million more books for the total to double, and 3/4 million are added each year, so we can divide 138 by 3/4 to find the number of years. Another way: every 4 years you add 3 million books, so you can figure out how many sets of 3 you’ll need.

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