The Forgotten Top 10 Best Sellers List!
By Jimmie Epling
Darlington County Library System
If you are looking for a good book to read, or listen to, over the upcoming Independence Day holiday weekend, visit any of the Darlington County Library System’s four locations to begin your quest. The staff will be happy to get you started on your search with recommendations from this week’s New York Times newspaper bestsellers list. If you can’t find something on “The Times” list, we have many more lists from which you can choose the perfect book or audiobook to enjoy.
The News York Times list, the best known and consulted list by far, is posted weekly at all locations of the Library and on our system wide Facebook page. The Times’ list is not the only bestsellers list. Amazon.com, the Christian Bookseller Association, Library Journal, USA Today, Barnes & Noble Bookstore, Goodreads, and many more offer bestseller lists. Some lists are general and others narrowly focused. There is a list offered by Publishers Weekly that generally escapes notice because it doesn’t count books sold, it counts books printed by a publisher in the past week.
The Publishers Weekly “Top 10 Overall” bestsellers list gives us a snapshot of what publishers are putting out in anticipation of market demand across all print formats, paperback and hardback, and age groups, children’s to adults.
This week’s “Top 10 Overall” list begins with a Nora Roberts’ paperback, “Bay of Sighs.” This is the second installment in her Guardians romance trilogy. Anticipating a huge demand, the publisher has printed 51,000 paperback copies of the book. It debuts this week on the N.Y. Times list behind first place “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes, a “disarmingly moving love story.” “Me Before You” is on the list twice this week with a two movie-tie-in paperback editions, a mass market (27,700 copies, #4) and an upscale version (26,800 copies, #6).
Stephen King’s new novel, “End of Watch,” is on the “Overall” list in the number two slot (46,700 copies printed). It is number one on the Times’ “Hardcover Fiction” list. It beat out Bill O’Rielly’s second entry into the “Legends and Lies” history series, “The Patriots” by 1,500 more copies. “The Patriots” is at number one on the Times’ list for the fourth straight week.
Rounding out the “Overall” list this week is:
“Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow (26,900 copies, #5). This 2004 biography of a founding father was turned into the Pulitzer Prize-winning hip-hop musical “Hamilton.” It is number one on the Times’ paperback nonfiction list.
“Duty and Honor” by Grant Blackwood (24,500 copies, #7). A secretive German organization is trying to kill the late Tom Clancy’s character Jack Ryan Jr. It is number four on the Times’ hardcover fiction list.
“Foreign Agent” by Brad Thor (22,600 copies, #8). Counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath is on the hunt for an informant who compromised an American mission in Syria in this novel that is number two on the Times’ hardcover list.
“Here’s to Us” by Elin Hilderbrand (21,300 copies, #9). The sparks fly as a celebrity chef’s ex-wives pile into a small cabin in Nantucket to join his widow for the reading of his will. This novel debuted on the Times’ hardcover fiction list behind “Duty and Honor.”
“Cross Kill by James Patterson (21,200 copies, #10). Alex Cross thought he saw Gary Soneji die more than 10 years ago, but did he? This is one of thirteen new short novels, called “Bookshots,” touted as “pulse-pounding thrillers under $5 and 150 pages or less” and “impossible to put down.” It is on the Times’ mass-market paperback list at number two.
For several months, I have followed the “Overall” list and shared it with the staff. What I noticed is this unique list anticipates demand for books and publishing trends we might miss. Since the beginning of the year, there were books and trends of note!
Children love Jeff Kinney’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. “Old School,” number ten in the series, blasted to the top of the January 4th “Overall” list with 133,000 copies printed and stayed on the list with many more printed in the weeks that follow. We made sure to have it at all four locations! Other authors with better name recognition have shot to the top for a week or two, with somewhat fewer copies of their book printed, such as Danielle Steel’s “Blue” and James Patterson’s “Red”, and quickly disappeared from the list. Who would have thought books like Marie Kondo’s self-help guide, “Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” and Dr. Seuss’ 1990 children’s book, “Oh, the Places We Will Go!” unexpectedly appear and linger on the list for weeks.
Would you be surprised to know Harry Potter inspired two coloring books that made the list earlier this year? I was surprised one week to discover 39,000 Dr. Who coloring books were printed, pushing to the top of the list.
Watching the list, we discovered the popularity of coloring for adults! Adults have rediscovered the fun, relaxation, and creative outlet from their childhood that coloring provides. Publishers have been quick to respond to this trend. On the January 4th list, three coloring books for adults by Johanna Basford, “Lost Ocean” (#2 with 96,400 copies), “Enchanted Forest” (#4 with 64,200 copies), and “Secret Garden” (60,600 #7 with copies) appeared! Since then, other coloring books have popped up on the list.
This trend inspired the staff to offer an “adult coloring get together.” Darlington Branch offers “Coffee & Coloring” for those looking for this relaxing and creative social activity. You can also find “get togethers” at our Society Hill, Lamar, and Hartsville Branches. Check with your nearest branch for the dates and times.
The Darlington County Library System staff looks beyond the New York Times bestseller list to provide you with what you want to read, listen to, or watch. Publishers Weekly “Top 10 Overall” list is one more way for us to discover “what’s hot and what’s not” for you this holiday weekend!