Book Links

Do you know how many books are there on the Internet? There are numerous movements for scanning and OCRing books around the world (besides older initiatives like the Project Gutenberg and sites like BlackMask). So I estimate that currently, there are in excess of 100,000-500,000 books on the Internet. (Of course, this is a wide range, but I can't be any more exact.) Also, please note that I mean publicly available books (though not all legal), since there may be thousands of books in the publishers' sites that are not available to the public.

Recently, I have spent a lot of time in extracting book links from the Internet. As an example, the links for the book "Flatland" by Edwin A Abbott are given below (not all the links may be active now):

Online versions of Flatland by Abbott, Edwin A
http://dwalin.ru/books/Abbott, Edwin/Flatland.txt.gz

Note: I am not sure if downloading these links is legal. Giving these links is for informational purposes only.

Now, I thought of an interesting thing to do. I have a collection of ca. 40,000 book links. I counted the number of occurrences for each author among them. This is a partial result of this statistics (some books, like Star Trek series, with indeterminate authors have been omitted):

Author stats
Author Count
King, Stephen 553
Asimov, Isaac 524
Lovecraft, HP 379
Heinlein, Robert A 349
Lem, Stanislaw 334
Grant, Maxwell 292
Simak, Clifford D 284
Clarke, Arthur C 239
Harrison, Harry 231
Bradbury, Ray 224
Sheckley, Robert 221
Balzac, Honoré de 208
McCaffrey, Anne 193
Niven, Larry 185
Andersen, Hans Chiristian 182
Fitzgerald, F Scott 180
Grimm, Hermanos 178
Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan 163
Zelazny, Roger 158
Pohl, Frederik 145
Asprin, Robert Lynn 138
Silverberg, Robert 136
Anderson, Poul 133
Borges, Jorge Luis 133
Dick, Philip K 132
Foster, Alan Dean 132
Burroughs, Edgar Rice 127
Norton, André 119
Le Guin, Ursula Kroeber 115
Card, Orson Scott 111
Twain, Mark 108
Dickens, Charles 106
Ellison, Harlan 103
Shakespeare, William 103
Dumas, Alexandre 102
Farmer, Philip José 101
Christie, Agatha 99

I wonder if this list also reflects the global trend of reading authors, or if it is affected by other factors, as well. Of course, in collections like the Project Gutenberg, only books with expired copyright span are published. But sporadic scanners do not obey laws as rigidly, so that the newest books of famous authors are published on the Web after only a few days of their publication (e.g., "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" by JK Rowling was published on the Internet just a few days after its official release date).

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