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Wednesday, 10 October, 2001, 12:52 GMT 13:52 UK
Novels become 'pulped fiction'
More than 400,000 titles will be exhibited
Hundreds of novels published end up in recycling bins, where they are destined to be shredded, according to The Times newspaper.

Up to one million books per month are being pulped in Britain, the paper reports.

The blame is put on publishers commissioning titles which then go unread by the public.

The revelations come as the world's biggest book event, the Frankfurt Book Fair, opens this week.

generic land fill site
An estimated 300,000 books end up as recycling material, says The Times

Paper Hub Recycling in Nottingham revealed the figures, saying it estimates 300,000 books are shredded in Britain every week.

It claims in Europe publishers destroy the same figure each week, while in America as many as one million books are pulped weekly.


"That's a terrific amount of wastage. It's a crying shame," Brian Oldfield from Paper Hub told The Times.

Thousands of exhibitors are packing the halls in Frankfurt for the fair, where an estimated 400,000 books will be on view.

Up to 6,700 exhibitors are due to take part from 100 countries.

A spokesman for the Publisher's Association confirmed that books do get pulped.

"We publish books to give choice; inevitably, not all are successful. It's just a fact of the supply chain, you will get over production," the spokesman told The Times.

Book fair

Books which make it into the top 5,000 need only sell 90 copies per week.

The book pulping is in part blamed on the growth in the number of books published.

The current global situation after the US terror attacks is being felt at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Some exhibitors have decided not to travel and there is expected to be a prominence of works on international relations, military history and religion.

See also:

08 Oct 01 | Arts
Book fair feels winds of war
16 Oct 01 | England
Library shelves its books
18 Oct 00 | Europe
Frankfurt book fair opens
21 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Ebook awards herald new age
18 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Book fair thanks Potter
29 Jan 99 | Entertainment
Publishing's endangered species
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