Amazon Charts, Amazon's new best seller list, now tracks what people actually read
Amazon launched a new best seller list on May 18, 2017 which showed both the most sold and the most read books.
A shelf at Amazon's Seattle bookstore, in University Village.
Amazon is also leveraging other data it has about the American book-buying public's habits. That includes lists which books are most anticipated, based on the rate of customer pre-orders and which Kindle books "were simply Unputdownable," according to how quickly customers read them from cover to cover.
So far Amazon's Most Read and Most Sold lists are similar but not identical. On this week’s most read list for fiction are Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, David Baldacci’s The Fix and Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.
The most sold list is slightly different. The Handmaid’s Tale is still number one, but number two is Paula Hawkins' Into the Water and number three is James Patterson’s 16th Seduction.
These are very similar to the top three on USA TODAY's best-seller fiction list, which included Into the Water, 16th Seduction and Dr. Seuss' Oh, the Places You'll Go!,
The New York Times fiction best sellers top three were 16th Seduction, Into the Water and Danielle Steel's Against All Odds.
Both papers' lists include print and ebook sales.
How different Amazon's two lists turn out to be over time will be interesting. It's unclear at this point if people who read e-books and listen to books have different tastes than people who read print books — or whether print sales are enough to swing the sales list in a certain direction.
Amazon does not release sales numbers for how many books, ebooks or audio books it sells nor offer any breakdown of how many of each type are sold.
The most sold list could also highlight the habit some readers have of buying books they feel they should or might someday read, but then don't ever actually dive into.
It's a common enough trait that the Japanese at least have a specific word for it. Tsundoku is Japanese for stockpiling of books that are never actually read.
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