How can someone write more than 500 books in his lifetime?

I just learned that Isaac Asimov wrote more than 500 books in his lifetime. His first book was published when he was 30 years old. He died at the age of 72. He wrote for 42 years. His average was more than 10 books per year. He typically wrote from 7:30am till 10pm everyday. This is truly impressive.

There are few physicists specializing in particle physics phenomenology who have written more than 500 scientific papers in their careers. This is superhuman too but doable because most papers are collaborative efforts. Writing more than 500 scientific papers is very impressive but it cannot compare to Asimov’s feat.

The NYT article about Asimov says that

“Mr. Asimov was amazingly prolific, writing nearly 500 books on a wide range of subjects, from works for preschoolers to college textbooks. He was perhaps best known for his science fiction and was a pioneer in elevating the genre from pulp-magazine adventure to a more intellectual level that dealt with sociology, history, mathematics and science. But he also wrote mysteries, as well as critically acclaimed books about the Bible, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, limericks, humor, Shakespeare, Gilbert and Sullivan, ancient and modern history, and many other subjects.

Mr. Asimov’s first book, “Pebble in the Sky” (Ballantine), a science-fiction novel, was published in 1950. His first 100 books took him 237 months, or almost 20 years, until October 1969, to write. His second 100, a milestone he reached in March 1979, took 113 months, or about 9 1/2 years — a rate of more than 10 books a year. His third 100 took only 69 months, until December 1984, or less than 6 years.”

“His usual routine was to awake at 6 A.M., sit down at the typewriter by 7:30 and work until 10 P.M.”

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About Suresh Emre

I have worked as a physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory. I am a volunteer for the Renaissance Universal movement. My main goal is to inspire the reader to engage in Self-discovery and expansion of consciousness.
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