Monday, February 20, 2006
Bestseller Lists Clogged With Bestsellers
A few years ago, an hysterical book industry pressured the New York Times into eliminating childrens' books from the Bestseller Lists. Why? Because the once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon Harry Potter was taking up three slots on the hardcover list. (This was at the height of Potter-mania, with a movie coming out and three books released in rapid succession since we were catching up with the UK.) It was an idiotic, random decision -- imagine if the box office Top Ten didn't include animated films because they were too popular. The bestseller list should include the bestsellers, from whatever genre. A quick glance at the charts shows plenty of other books "clogging" up the lists. The Da Vinci Code is at #2 and will be on the charts for three years in just a few weeks. On the nonfiction list, Blink by Malcolm Gladwell has made itself at home for more than a year. The paperback list is even crazier: reader group favorite The Kite Runner has been on the list for a year and a half, Angels & Demons by Dan Brown more than two years, Gladwell's The Tipping Point for a year and a half, The Devil in the White City for almost two years, and Guns Germs and Steel and Tuesdays With Morrie for three years.