Home > Algorithms, General > How many books can you store in 1 GB hard drive?

How many books can you store in 1 GB hard drive?

As explained in my previous post Few rules of thumb

Let’s apply Rule #7 to this problem. As the rule says, “A character is represented by 8 bits” i.e. each character takes about 8 bits. Please note that this problem can be solved only by making few assumptions and your solution depends on the kind of assumptions you make.

Let’s solve the problem now:

  • we know 1 byte = 8 bits (Ref. table at the end of this post)
    • 1 GB (giga byte) = 1073741824 bytes (≈ 109 bytes) [read it as, 10 power 9]
    • 1 GB = 8 * 109 bits
  • Now assume on an average every word is comprised of 5 characters
  • Assume every page has about 10 lines and each line has about 20 words => 200 words per page
  • Number of characters in each page => 5*200 = 1000 characters per page
  • Assume every book has about 300 pages => 1000*300 = 300000 characters per book
  • Now that every book has about 300,000 characters. The amount of memory taken by each book is
    • 300,000 * 8 = 2400000 bits (≈24*105 bits of space)
    • The above principle states that each book takes about 24*105 bits of space
  • Now, how many bookscan be stored in 1 GB hard drive?
    • (8 * 109 )/ (24*105) ≈ 3333.33 books (It’s corrected now. Thanks to the comments)

Answer to the question is… In 1 GB hard drive you can store about 3334 books with the kind of assumptions we made!

We used following conversions to solve the above problem:

  • 1 Byte = 8 Bit
  • 1 Kilobyte = 1024 Bytes
  • 1 Megabyte = 1048576 Bytes
  • 1 Gigabyte = 1073741824 Bytes
  1. Pramod kumar
    December 27, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    Your answer should be 3333.3 books
    Your calulation is mistaked


    • July 14, 2012 at 3:11 AM

      Yes I agree with Pramod. A Google search of “(8 * 10^9 ) / (24*10^5)” confirms it that you would be able to store 3333.3 books instead of 333.3.


    • May 5, 2013 at 3:50 PM

      I agree the calculation is wrong and so is your spelling, lol, Sorry I can’t help it , I am a grammar Nazi.


      • Sublime Insanity
        June 8, 2014 at 12:42 PM

        Then you shouldn’t have capitalised the ‘S’ in the word ‘sorry’ you dullard. And it should have been a semi-colon after ‘….help it’. There should be a semi-colon after ‘agree’. Basically, you’re kind of messed up for a grammar Nazi.

        ‘I agree; the calculation is wrong. So is your spelling, lol. Sorry, I can’t help it; I am a grammar Nazi.’


  2. Linda
    October 13, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    The assumption that “every page has about 10 lines and each line has about 20 words => 200 words per page,” is way off. I just looked at a few trade paperbacks (the larger size) and they averaged about 36 lines a page.


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  7. August 29, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    I agree your calculation is wrong it’s suppose to be 3333.3


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  24. amary
    April 7, 2019 at 2:26 PM

    It’s provided 1GB drive.
    If each text page has 50 rank and 60 columns.
    How many UTF-16 text pages can roughly deplete this drive?


  25. November 8, 2019 at 12:43 AM



  26. January 11, 2020 at 12:12 AM



  27. Dave Hage
    September 4, 2020 at 2:45 AM

    There was no need to introduce bits in this equation, 1 byte is a character. books are made of characters, space is measured in bytes, generally. I can only assume you did so in order to make the calculation seem more complicated than it is for narcissistic reasons or that your are a bit thick.


  28. Lost Found
    October 13, 2020 at 6:26 AM

    How many books with 500 pages can we save on a cd with 850 mb with 1 page with 1800 signs. Can some one help me with this


  1. June 30, 2014 at 11:03 AM
  2. October 21, 2014 at 11:32 AM
  3. April 12, 2015 at 11:58 AM
  4. July 11, 2019 at 7:26 PM

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