Ramblings, citations and "brainwaves" of a college librarian in Toronto. 475 square feet refers to the size of my home, not the size of my office or library.

Best Selling Books

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According to a study published by Lulu.com, the life-expectancy of a bestselling novel has been cut in half in the last decade.

The study looked at the average number of weeks that a new No. 1 bestseller stayed on top of the hardback fiction section of the New York Times Bestseller List. Here are the results by decade:

Decade Average Number of Weeks to Stay on the No. 1 Spot

1960s 21.7 weeks
1970s 13.9 weeks
1980s 7.2 weeks
1990s 5.5 weeks
2000s (so far) 3.0 weeks

Decade Average Number of Novels To Hit the No. 1 Spot Per Year
1960s 2.8 titles
1970s 4.4 titles
1980s 7.6 titles
1990s 10.0 titles
2000s (so far) 18.2 titles

From here we find this little factoid too:

"According to recent statistics from R.R. Bowker, U.S. publishers released 113,589 new titles in 1995. In 2005, publishers cranked out 172,000 new titles—a 51.4% increase. Bottom line: more titles are competing for the same number of available slots."

Stephen Abram

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