If you wanted to find out how many different books have ever been written, you’d probably start with a Google search. In 2010, the tech company came up with the answer. According to Leonid Taycher, a Google software engineer working on the Google Books project, that number is 129,864,880. The search began with the ISBN cataloging system, but many other programmable searches were required in order to come up with a more accurate count.
A bit of light reading?
- Paperback and hardback editions of a text were counted as two books, because different versions often contain additional forewords and commentaries.
- Google’s goal is to scan every existing book, and the online giant expects that to take around 10 years. In all, they hope to digitize about 4 billion pages and 2 trillion words.
- In 2005, the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers filed class-action lawsuits, claiming Google is infringing on copyrights.