I dashed this post off during a rare lull in sales yesterday. The store was full of holiday shoppers, mostly all of whom were in good moods finding all that they wanted and more. As I run the numbers for what’s been selling, I am surprised anew at how well regional titles do during this time of year.
Our bestselling titles (after the now infamous parrot pen) are skewed towards local authors. The beloved neighborhood vet’s memoir Exotic Tails has sold more than 20 copies since the beginning of December. The Spare Room by Jenny Land is a great Vermont historical fiction title for kids that has enjoyed brisk sales since it came out after Thanksgiving. The last regional title, Steamboats and Subchasers: The History of the Shelburne Shipyard, has found a niche with older customers who remember the author from his days running the shipyard.
In the kids’ world the bestselling books continue to be Diary of a Wimpy Kid #7 and Jasper Fforde’s The Last Dragonslayer, which is literally flying off the shelves. The Mercy Watson series has been a great go-to book for early readers. It’s actually been really sweet to see kids recommend them for cousins who are learning to read. A sleeper hit has been Natalie Babbitt’s Jack Plank Tells Tales, which is a popular favorite for the eight-year-old set.
The hot book for older kids is John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars which needs a bit of hand-selling to skeptical adults, who think a book about kids with cancer isn’t a great gift. To which I respond,,”Oh, but it’s sooooo good.” Last year’s runaway bestselling Daughter of Smoke and Bone is doing even better in paperback with the sequel enjoying a similar run.
There are no clear bestselling picture books this year. This section always has the most range as picture books are not quite as bestseller driven. I have found that picture books tend to be much more individual than books for older kids. Perhaps because the depth of our selection allows for a book for just about every passion a kid might have. And folks really try to get picture books based on interest more than anything else. Having said that, Jon Klassen’s books have done quite well this holiday season as has Mr. Willowby’s Christmas.
As we head toward the final weekend before Christmas it will be interesting to see how, or if, this lists changes. Here’s hoping everyone find the right books for all the people on their lists.