Wednesday, May 09, 2007

An Overabundance of Books?

Over at Design Observer, Alice Twemlow comments on an interesting (and a bit scary) observation of Mexican critic Garbriel Zaid's:
"According to the Mexican critic Gabriel Zaid, writing in So Many Books: Reading and Publishing in an Age of Abundance, the human race publishes a book every 30 seconds. If current trends continue, by 2052 the number of people writing and publishing a book in a given year will exceed the number of people who will read one."
The more I think about this, the more I have to believe that Zaid is very likely correct. The number of readers in the world may have already reached its plateau or it may even be declining; it all depends on how the latest statistics are spun. At the same time, the number of books being published every year continues to grow, a trend that, as a reader, makes me smile. But what happens when there are more writers than readers in the world? Oh well, I suppose we can all read each other's books...
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