For book lovers, let Google count the ways
| Aug 09, 2010
For those who have ever wondered how many different books are out there in the world, Google has an answer for you: 129,864,880, according to Leonid Taycher, a Google software engineer who works on the Google Books project.
Estimating the number of books in the world is more than an exercise in curiosity for the search giant: It also provides a roadmap of some of the work still left to be done in meeting the company's ambitious goal of organizing all the world's information.
"When you are part of a company that is trying to digitize all the books in the world, the first question you often get is: 'Just how many books are out there?'," Taycher explained in a blog post announcing the estimate. To come up with a reasonable approximation, the company started by ingesting book information from multiple cataloging systems, such as the International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN). Read more about Google's procedure in PC World online.