As someone who, much to the despair of the online editor, has difficulty finding the time to write a blog post, I’m always (perhaps overly) impressed by people who manage to write books without giving up their day jobs. Many of Prospect‘s writers seem particularly fecund—longtime contributor AC Grayling may hold the record for published books, although I can’t tell from his website how many he’s written (perhaps even he has lost count). Enigmas and puzzles columnist Ian Stewart claims a total of around 80, including a couple of novels. Contributor Raymond Tallis, according to a recent Times interview, is working on five different books at the moment. Which is the number that our Lab report columnist Philip Ball has coming out this year—if you count his trilogy on pattern formation as separate books. (The others are a novel and a book on Chartres cathedral.) I’d love to know what their secret is, but I suspect there isn’t one. Writing books is probably just habit-forming for some.