Tuesday, 2 November 2010

UK and US Bestsellers

It has come to my attention that quite a lot of the people visiting this blog are from America, so I decided to have a look at the bestsellers lists for Britain and for the USA and see how much of a difference there is. Quite a lot of difference it turns out. There are of course some similarities as the Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson features in the top ten in both charts, as does The Confession by John Grisham and Worth Dying For by Lee Child. The Help by Katheryn Stockett appears in the top twenty in both too, though it is currently doing better in the UK. But other than that I found myself rather baffled by the US chart.

The UK Bestsellers list is fimiliar to me. I have read a good many of them, a good many more are on my 'to read' list. Even those that I have no intention of ever reading, I recognise the author and know the style. In comparison, from the US list I have never heard of Nora Roberts, Vince Flynn or J. D. Robb. I have no idea what I would be purchasing if I was to indulge in The Reversal, Shaken or Safe Haven.

I decided to do a little more delving in to the differences, but my finds weren't very illuminating. One source claims that American books are considerably cheaper than in Britain, but The Girl who Kicked the Hornets Nest, for example, is £3.86 and $9.99. Another academic source insists that in England novelists gradually become well known, but if they are fortunate enough become famous they will probably remain so. In America, apparently, fame is likely to wash over a writer overnight, but is equally likely to leave them in a second. Other sources claimed that British taste in literature is more limited, yet another claimed in fact the opposite was true with British tastes providing variety.

As I have only briefly travelled to America, and I do not have an American friend or relative to consider this with, I will leave to you, my dearest readers, to let me know your experiences and opinions. In the mean time, I am going to try to sample more authors popular in America, rather than just here in England.

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