What novels are most in demand on the second-hand market? Do you have the bestselling novels on your shelves?
AbeBooks, the Used component of Amazon’s book department, recently published a list of their 100 bestselling used books since 2000. They included fiction and non-fiction as well as children’s books, but I thought the top ten novels was worth a look.
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960)
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (1937)
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (1951)
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (2003)
- Night by Elie Wiesel (1960)
- Lord of the Flies by William Golding (1954)
- Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell (1949)
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1966)
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (1931)
I was surprised there was only one novel in the list published after 1970. Perhaps many of these sales are driven by course readings, as most would appear in English and Literature classes regularly.
It would be interesting to see how the titles differed between countries. It’s probably safe to assume the majority of the sales are in the US, but it would be likely Australia, the UK, Canada and other English speaking countries would have different titles topping the list. The top four here, for instance, while they’re certainly read and studied elsewhere, seem to have a greater meaning in American culture and identity which lead them to be ‘must reads’.
The last three in the top ten make an interesting cluster. While certainly now considered classics, they also fit within the science fiction/dystoptian genre. Occasionally I hear someone say they don’t like science fiction novels because they’re ‘just escapist’. A read of any of these three will change that perception.
One final note: I didn’t count children’s novels in this list. To be specific, I didn’t include Harry Potter, because he would have crowded others out. In the the complete list of all books sold, there were five Harry Potter titles in the top 20. Kudos to JK.
See the complete list here.