Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Bestselling Used Books Are Better Than Bestselling New Books

Abebooks has released a list of the 100 Bestselling Used Books Since 2000.

Compare this list with the Bestselling (New) Books from 1900-1999.

In the last few decades of the 20th century, many of the hottest-selling new books were of the thriller/mystery variety, not traditionally thought of as great books.

But looking through the list of used books most in demand, at a glance they are surely of a much higher literary quality. I'm seeing far more "great books" on the used list than on the new one.

For example, the Top 10 Bestselling Used books:

1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
4. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
5. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
6. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
7. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
8. Night by Elie Wiesel
9. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

And now, the Top 10 Bestselling New Fiction Books from 1999:
1. John Grisham, The Testament
2. Thomas Harris, Hannibal
3. Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, Assassins
4. Terry Brooks, Star Wars: Episode 1, The Phantom Menace
5. Michael Crichton, Timeline
6. Stephen King, Hearts in Atlantis
7. Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, Apollyon
8. Stephen King, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
9. Danielle Steel, Irresistible Forces
10. Maeve Binchy, Tara Road

I suppose people who go to the trouble of buying used books are looking for something special to read, a book of quality, depth, and lasting appeal, not just a cheap thrill, or the latest trendy novel by a big-name author.

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