Intermediate Form

Harry Potter V - Fun With Arithmetic

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The new Harry Potter book is coming out in eight days. I just found out how long it would be. (Actually, I probably saw this when I pre-ordered it, but I had forgotten until now.)


According to the publisher, Scholastic:

Scholastic Inc. announced today that J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix will have a first printing of 6.8 million copies, an all-time United States publishing record. To be released on June 21, 2003, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is over 255,000 words, 38 chapters and approximately 896 pages,

IIRC, the first printing is sold out. So, we can expect, in the few days after release, over six million people will read a over a quarter million words each. Multiplying, we get 1,734,000,000,000, which is a little over 1.7 trillion words read.

Assuming the average length of each word is 4 letters, each book contains a little over a megabyte of information. (Yes, I'm playing fast and loose with how a book is represented.) That means that, in the days and weeks following the release, over 6 terabytes of information will be downloaded from these books into people's minds, in a reasonably compressed form.

I'm going to stop here, as I seem further from making a point than I was when I started.

- Tom | permalink | changelog | Last updated: 2003-06-13 10:42

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