Nielsen Bookscan, the world's largest book tracking service has made their database available through this article in The Guardian which provides a very interesting spreadsheet of the top selling books in the UK from 1998 to the end of 2010.
Anyone interested in leisure reading needs to be aware of what the most popular authors and titles are both currently and historically. And for those of us who are helping patrons, this knowledge is invaluable to our success. As 2011 gets going, you will also start to see more reports and analysis of the bestsellers of 2010.
Staying on top of bestsellers is always a tricky proposition for the RA librarian. We don't want to check out the bestsellers, thus keeping them out of our patrons hands, but we also need to know about them. These resources help us in our battle to stay on top of the current trends without taking the most popular titles away from our patrons.
Finally, if you aren't already doing this, take a moment each week to read the NY Times Bestseller Lists, The USA Today Bestsellers List (which is great because it is simply the top 150 books, in order, that sold the most that week with no distinction between paperback, hardcover, fiction, nonfiction, and children's), and at least one local bestseller list. This should keep you as up-to-date as your patrons.
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