D is the best answer.**Quote:**

The average literate person today spends significantly less time reading than the average literate person did 50 years ago, yet many more books are sold per year now than were sold 50 years ago.

Each of the following, if true, help resolve the apparent discrepancy above EXCEPT:

Premise 1: The average literate person today spends significantly less time reading that the average literate person did 50 years ago.

Premise 2/Discrepancy: Yet many more books are sold per year now than were sold 50 years ago.

So from premise 1, we know that the average literate person today spends significantly less time reading than the average literate person did 50 years ago. So one will expect that with that level of reading by literates 50 years ago, one woud expect more books to be sold 50 years ago compared to now, considering 50 years ago a literate reads more books on average than a literate today. So, we are to find the answer choice that does not resolve the discrepancy.

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(A) The population of the literate people is significantly larger today than it was 50 years ago.

Option A is basically saying that there are significantly more literates today than there were literates 50 years ago. This implies that if there were 100 literates 50 years ago and each read 200 books, per year on average, then they would have read 20,000 books per year. So if each person bought their book, then 20,000 books would be sold per year 50 years ago. On the other hand if there are 1,000 literates today and each read 50 books per year on average and all of these books are bought, then 50,000 books would have been sold now. This is based on the assumption that the readers take equal amount of time to read each book. In that case,

A resolves the apparent discrepancy.**Quote:**

(B) People who read books 50 years ago were more likely to read books borrowed from libraries than are people who read books today.

This option resolves the discrepancy. How? Lets say there were 100 literates 50 years ago and each of these 100 literates read 200 books per year. But 60 out of 100 borrowed their books from libraries. This means only 40 purchased books, implying 8000 books were purchased per year 50 years ago. How about we assume there are the same number of literates today as there were 50 years ago and only 10 borrowed books from libraries and 90 purchase books. Let's say each literate today reads 180 books per year. Then the books read by the 90 literates today who purchase published books will be 16,200 books and this is more than books purchased 50 years ago.

Hence the discrepancy is resolved.**Quote:**

(C) The average scholar or other person who uses books professionally today owns and consults many more different books than did the average scholar or similar professional 50 years ago.

This option also resolves the apparent discrepancy. Let's assume that there are 100 scholars today and there were 100 scholars 50 years ago, and the scholars 50 years ago read for 4,000 hours on average per year while the average scholar today reads 2000 hours per year. Lets assume it takes 2 hours to read a book per scholar. But the ratio of books today scholar reads to the books the scholar 50 years ago read is 5:1 and each of these books would have to published and sold for the demand. Then the demand of books for the 100 scholars today is 5*100*2000/2 = 500,000 books have to be sold per year today to meet the demands of today's scholar. On the other hand, a scholar 50 years ago would demand 100*4000/2 = 200,000 books per year. Hence this option resolves the discrepancy.

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(D) People of 50 years ago were more likely than people are today to display large collections of books as a sign of education and good taste.

This does not resolve the discrepancy. Assume there are the same number of scholars today as there were 50 years ago. Since people 50 years ago read more than people do today, and people 50 years ago are more likely to display large collection of books, then it means people 50 years ago have more books than people today do. Hence this does not explain the discrepancy.

This is the right answer.**Quote:**

(E) Books sold now tend to be shorter and easier to read that were books sold 50 years ago.

With the same number of literates today as there were 50 years ago, it is more likely that literates today will read a larger number of books than literates 50 years ago do, even though literates 50 years ago read for longer hours than literates today. Hence

This option also resolves the apparent discrepancy.