The ones that caught my librarian's eye this month were the following:
- Minimum number of different books sold in the U.S. last year, as tracked by Nielsen BookScan: 1,446,000
- Number of these that sold fewer than 99 copies: 1,123,000
- Number that sold more than 100,000: 483.
I am not sure you can define 99, as published,as in "make generally known" and over 100,000 is a definite bestseller; that leaves 322,517 in the middle. Olin library buys about 1.25% of those. It is a tough task the librarians and faculty have to do: which one book out of eighty belongs in the collection now and for decades to come?
More importantly, about 1,000,000 books get written, but hardly read. Yet another factoid that lead me to the conclusion that we are writing more books, but reading fewer, which is another way of saying we are more interested in talking than listening. (Kinda like the bloggers amongst us.) A liberal education should attempt to rectify this situation.