Thursday, December 6, 2007
How Many Books in a Tree?
One highly unscientific estimate: twenty to thirty in a tree much thicker than this one. It depends on the tree's size and species, the book, and how the paper is produced, so there is no single statistic. But here are some estimates:
One cord of air-dried dense hardwood yields 942 100-page, hard-cover books according to TAPPI, a paper industry trade group.
So how many trees are in a cord? According to the Department of Natural Resources in Wisconsin, roughly 15 trees with a diameter of 10 inches. For other diameters, check out this foresters' site.
That comes to about 60 100-page books per 10-inch diameter tree. Most of our library books are at least 300 pages, so that brings the calculations to maybe 20-30 books in a 10-inch thick tree.
The electronic books that can be read by the Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader not only use less paper, but also are much cheaper than the same books in printed form (the electronic readers are expensive though). Of course, "reusing" a book by borrowing it from the library is also environmentally friendly!
*The tree in the picture is the one next door at the Little Flower Catholic Church, taken Monday morning before the library opened.