For the second consecutive week, unit sales of print books last week fell compared to 2020. Sales dropped 2% compared to the week ended December 19, 2020, after declining 12.2% in the prior week at outlets that report to NPD BookScan.
Last week, the fiction segments all had gains over last year, while the adult and nonfiction categories struggled. Adult fiction sales rose 14.2%, with familiar names topping a category bestseller list led by John Grisham’s The Judge’s List, which sold just over 47,000 copies. The Wish by Nicholas Sparks was in second place, followed by The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy, and Mitch Albom’s The Stranger in the Lifeboat, which all sold over 38,000 copies last week.
The juvenile fiction category had a 1.5% increase and had the two most popular titles last week. Jeff Kinney’s The Big Shot, the 16th book in his Wimpy Kid series, was #1, selling more than 93,000 copies, followed by Perspectives, the newest volume in Dav Pilkey’s Cat Kid Comic Club, which sold over 91,000 copies. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera continued to lead young adult fiction sales, with units topping 18,000 copies, followed by Holly Jackson’s A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, which sold more than 15,000 copies.
Barack Obama’s A Promised Land sold nearly 328,000 copies last year at this time, easily beating the sales for last week’s #1 category seller, Atlas of the Heart by Brené Brown, which sold about 71,000. In second place was Call Us What We Carry: Poems by Amanda Gorman, which sold over 56,000 copies.
Despites two weeks of unit declines, print sales through December 18 were still up 8.7% over the comparable period in 2020.