Friday, January 23, 2004

Agatha Christie - One published lady.

I enjoy Agatha Christie books. On the back of her books it often mentions that she has "over two billion" copies of books in print. This made me wonder... what would the volume of those books be? The following measurements are done using standard paperback versions - the kind widely available at Borders and such.

Well, I gathered ten of my books together and scrunched them up really tight -- 10 books measure 6.5 inches across. Each book is a little more than 4 inches deep and 6.75 inches tall. So for 10 books, the volume would be (6.5)(4)(6.75)=175.5 cubic inches or .10156 cubic feet. Now, she has two billion copies in print, so I mulitply .10156 by 200,000,000 = 20,312,500 cubic feet. Yikes.

By my calculations, if you were to take all of her books and put them on a regulation football field, they would form a cube over 400 feet high (Leah the math major says that it's not a cube, but a rectangular prism...) with a rectangular base 300 feet by 160 feet. Fascinating!

(Aside: My calculations were rought to begin with and got rougher with each successive estimate... nevertheless, 400 feet tall a reasonable ball park (no pun intended).)

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