Books and movies

Amazon’s weekly charts

Amazon has started bringing out weekly book charts.  The top 20 books sold, and the top 20 books read

They do fiction and non-fiction. You can find them at

Looking at the fiction lists, there are few surprises in the Books Sold.  These are the books you see in the display area of any bookshop.  The bestsellers are the same online and off.  Included among these are the books that have television or movie adaptions coming out soon.  Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.

There is one unexpected (to me) entrant.  Dr Suess’s, Oh, The Places You’ll Go comes in at number eight.

It’s when you get to the Books Read list that the results start to differ.  Putting aside the question of how Amazon knows what you’re reading—Big Brother is definitely watching us—the results are interesting.

Here’s the full May 14 list of the 20 most books read on Amazon.

  1. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
  2. The Fix, by David Baldacci
  3. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
  4. Beneath a Scarlet Sky, by Mark Sullivan
  5. Golden Prey, by John Sandford
  6. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J.K. Rowling
  7. Into the Water, by Paula Hawkins
  8. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling
  9. It, by Stephen King
  10. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by J.K. Rowling
  11. 16th Seduction, by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro
  12. Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty
  13. Beach Lawyer, by Avery Duff
  14. Dead Certain, by Adam Mitzner
  15. A Court of Wings and Ruin, by Sarah J. Maas
  16. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling
  17. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
  18. A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman
  19. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by J.K. Rowling
  20. The Black Book, by James Patterson & David Ellis

Sure, the bestsellers are in there, but look how many Harry Potter books there are.  Five.

There also looks to be a slight lag on buying books and reading them. I’m sure if we had charts from the previous weeks we’d see authors like Sarah J. Maas on the Books Sold list.

Movie/television adaptions The Handmaid’s Tale and American Gods are joined by Stephen King’s It.  Again, because we don’t have the prior week charts we can’t tell if these are new readers reading books they have just bought, or if readers who already owned the book are rereading it. I suspect it’s the latter.

It’s Harry Potter that’s the interesting.  I know J. K. Rowling still sells a lot of books, but I think a lot of those reads are rereads. People who own the books already, have read them before, and are re-reading them.

It’s what we do, as readers, with a book we like.





3 replies on “Amazon’s weekly charts”

That’s interesting. I don’t think we do that here, but it’s been a while since I had anything to do with graduation. I might see if it’s become something they do here as well.

Yup. It was a thing at least as long ago as 2002 (when I graduated high school, in the US).

The Harry Potters surprised me as well. Sure I regularly re-read books, but I sort of figured I was outside the norm. I wish I had the data since Harry Potter came out. I wonder if some of it is because the kids who loved the books when they came out have kids old enough to start reading them. Not only do we re-read the books we love, but we pass them on to the next generation.

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