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Very short facts about the Very Short Introductions

This week we are celebrating a landmark occasion for the Very Short Introductions series. Measurement: A Very Short Introduction, the 500th VSI in the series, will publish on 6 October, 2016. These books have proven to be extremely popular with general readers, as well as students and their lecturers. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make often challenging topics highly readable. To mark its publication, editors Andrea Keegan and Jenny Nugee have put together a list of Very Short Facts about the series.

  1. VSIs have been translated into 50 languages, including Gujarati (an Indo-Aryan language) and Belarusian. Arabic is the most popular translated language.
  2. When their VSIs published, the oldest VSI author was Stanely Wells at age 85, author of William Shakespeare: A Very Short Introduction.
  3. The first VSI, Classics, was published 21 years ago, in 1995 and remains in its first edition.
  4. The highest selling VSI is Globalization, which will soon be on its fourth edition! When it was first proposed people were worried it might not be a success.
  5. Someone once wrote in suggesting we needed a VSI to Olivia Newton John. Other suggestions have included a very short introduction to coconuts and a very short introduction to Harry Potter.
  6. One VSI author had a tie made to match his jacket cover. Unfortunately his cover then needed to be flipped around, so his tie is now upside down.
  7. There are 84 VSI titles starting with “The”.
  8. Discounting the word “The”, the most common initial letter of a VSI is ‘A’ (55 titles), followed closely by ‘C’ and ‘M’ (52 titles each). Between them the VSI titles cover every letter of the alphabet, with the letter ‘e’ appearing over 600 times.

So, where’s the gap in your knowledge?

Featured image credit: Very Short Introductions © Jack Campbell-Smith, for Oxford University Press.

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