How many books are published each year – and is digital having an impact?

Week after week there are surveys which show that (seemingly) the printed word is on the way out, as everyone turns to digital.

A survey by the publisher Pearson in the US found that only one percent of the 8 to 18 year olds used no digital technologies whatsoever in relation to their school or college work.

Most suggested that they used laptops or regular PCs while half use smart phones as part of their education. Although the number using tablets is less than 50% it is rising very quickly.

Here are a few of the other findings from high school students… 

  • 75 percent of high school students use laptops for educational purposes;
  • 65 percent use desktops;
  • 60 percent use smart phones;
  • 19 percent use full-size tablets;
  • 17 percent use small tablets;
  • 16 percent use basic e-book readers; and
  • 10 percent use netbooks.

 So the dominance of the digital mechanism continues. Except… 

The level of production of paper based information shows no sign of easing off. Just consider this list of books published 

  1. USA: 328,000
  2. China: 207,000
  3. UK: 149,000
  4. Russia: 116,000
  5. Germany: 82,000 

The figures are not strictly comparable because some countries count new editions as new books and others don’t, and some figures are for last year while others are the year before – but even so it is a lot of books. 

And just in case you find such figures interesting, here are the countries that don’t manage to publish much at all 

  • Oman: 7 books
  • Burkina Faso: 12 books
  • Gambia: 14 books
  • Mali: 14 books
  • Angola 22 books
  • Libya: 26 books
  • Ghana: 28 books
  • Bahrain: 40 books
  • Monaco: 41 books. 

So, even if the numbers in a few countries are small, book production continues and seems set to co-exist with digital materials. Which is, I guess, why there is such a need to more and more storage space. 

Admiral Document Storage Ltd
Bloxwich Lane
Tel: 0800 810 1125


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