I don’t know about you, but I used to think that the NY Times Best Sellers list was full of “literary” books — the ones people buy but don’t read. However, a look at the February 24-March 2 list shows a completely different list from what I expected. (You can subscribe to a weekly newsletter of NY Times Best Sellers on our Next Reads page.)
There are two James Patterson books, Jodi Picoult’s newest one, a J.D. Robb, Maeve Binchy’s last, 2 fantasy books — the last volume of the Wheel of Time and book 4 of the Game of Thrones series — 3 mysteries, a thriller and stories by the author of Swamplandia. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn has been on for 39 weeks and still has lots of holds in our system. I don’t know much about Sister Souljah’s A Deeper Love Inside, but suspect it is urban fiction. I’ve never heard of George Saunders’ Tenth of December. A friend has recommended The Dinner by Herman Koch which is translated from the Dutch. I’m not sure there is a literary fiction title on the list. The bestselling ebooks are pretty much the same titles except for the fantasy novels.
What does this tell us about best seller lists? I guess bestselling authors really do sell the best. (Duh!) People seem to be willing to pay for books by authors they like. What happens to these books afterwards? Do they travel on to family members and friends?
And what happened to the old best selling authors? Danielle Steele isn’t on this list. Every year during book sale time we easily get 20-40 hardbacks by her.
The book that has been on the longest is a nonfiction book, Unbroken. I can easily see that book being given as a present by people. It certainly is a good book. The only book that I own on the list is the Robert Jordan book.
If you are a book buyer as well as a library user, you will be pleased to know that we will soon be collecting for our September book sale again. So start pruning your bookshelves of books you won’t read again and box them up to bring to the library starting in May.