Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Today's Fun Facts

Catching up with The New Yorker, here's a quote from "Future Reading" by Anthony Grafton, Nov. 5, 2007 p. 53:

A conservative reckoning of the number of books ever published is thirty-two million; Google believes that there could be as many as a hundred million. It is estimated that between three and ten per cent of all known books are currently in print, and twenty per cent - those produced between the beginning of print, in the fifteenth century, and 1923 - are out of copyright. The rest, perhaps seventy-five per cent of all books ever printed, are "orphans," possibly still covered by copyright protections but out of print and pretty much out of mind. Google, controversially, is scanning those books although it is not yet making them fully available; Microsoft, more cautiously, is scanning only what it knows it can legitimately disseminate.

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