Books, eBooks and Statistics: A few numbers related to books

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Jeff Bezos officially unveiled the second generation of the Kindle yesterday. Here’s the press release and engaget has a hands-on video. (I would write more but I’ve outsourced any blogging on the topic of eBook readers to Aaron Pressman. Background: I am a power user of a Kindle, but think one day there will be a device that makes more sense in a multimedia era. Opinion: I assume Apple will offer one eventually, but I anticipate several on the Android platform.)

To mark the announcement of Kindle 2, here are some numbers to consider:

0: Number of leatherette covers that come with the new Kindle. (Unlike Kindle 1, you have to pay extra for the black cover.)

230,000+: Number of books on Amazon.com available for purchase in the Kindle format.

1,500,000: Number of public domain books digitized that can be read free on a mobile device’s web browser via Google Book Search. (The Kindle has a web browser, but it’s primarily a novelty feature.)

27,000+: Number of public domain books that can be downloaded free from Project Gutenberg that can be read using any eBook reader, computer and most smart phone and mobile devices.

200: Number of books held on Kindle 1’s internal memory. (1,500+ with memory card.)

1,500: Number of eBooks that can be stored on Kindle 2’s internal memory. (No slot for memory card.)

6,487: Number of books Thomas Jefferson sold to the Library of Congress after their 3,000-book collection was lost in a fire during the War of 1812. At the time, said to be largest collection of books by any individual in the U.S.

32,000,000+: Number of books and other printed material now catalogued in the collection of the Library of Congress.

650 miles: Approximate length of bookshelves used to store the Library of Congress’ books and printed material.

180: Estimated number of Gutenberg Bibles originally printed.

48: Number of known existing “substantially complete” copies of Gutenberg Bible. (Source, other “fragments” exist.)

1: Number of books Steve Jobs said 40% of Americans read each year.

10: Per capita books sold in 2007 in U.S.

500,000: Estimate of how many Kindles sold in 2008 (including Nov-Dec, 2007).

13,700,000: iPhones sold in 2008.