Top 50

Here's a little bit of throwback Thursday for you book fiends and writers 

Ever wonder what the all time best sellers were on the New York Times Best Seller List? Well here's a few from that list. Looking at this list you will notice some were made into movies since they premiered on the NY Times Best Seller list. I have only read a few books on this list personally. It's so cool that they have books from the 1950's. Being a New York Times best selling author is kind of like a holy grail to many writers. It's kind of like an "I have arrived b*****s" moment. The list is rapidly changing and writer's are finding that they are spending less and less time on the list. 


Do you think it is due to technology moving at the speed of light. A person's 15 minutes of fame can be rapidly reduced by the availability of something new so much more quickly than it used to be, when we had to travel to book stores or libraries. Many of these authors enjoyed the prestige for years appearing constantly on the list year after year.  The book in the number one spot spent 4 years and almost 4 months on the list. So here's a question - was the book that fantastic or was their marketing spot on? The reign of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil ended just two days after Google was founded. Remember, this was before Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Goodreads was founded. I think it's safe to  assume it definitely came down to great writing. It was made into a movie starring Kevin Spacey and has a walk through tour guide because ..it is nonfiction. There's some awesome marketing for you. (get your copy below)

This is my bit of nostalgia for today. Enjoy!

The NY Times published it's first best seller list on October 12, 1931 and only included books from ...you guessed it,  New York. It was not, however, the first best seller list out there. The first list was published in 1895 in The Bookman. The national list for the NY Times was not created until early April of 1942.  This business model of promoting top sellers helped to establish some bookstores that were commonly found in malls in the early 60's and 70's. Do you remember B. Dalton or Waldenbooks? Book Retailers today still rely heavily on this model.

While the list has seen it's share of controversy, some may even say unethical practices, it remains a focal point and sort of a standard to attain among writers. Writing newcomers definitely see more of an advantage than those authors that are well established, but how cool is it to say you have been on the list multiple times? Many avid readers still heavily rely on seeing that an author has been on the list in blurbs and author bios as a way of determining what is worth reading. Even today, every bookstore you visit or see online has a NY Times bestseller list front and center.

#TBT #Top50 #Blastfromthepast




Info provided by nytbestsellerlist.com

New York Times Top 50 All Time Best Sellers (posted as of 2009) Most Weeks On List

 The top 50 books with the most total weeks spent on the New York Times best seller list.

1. MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL (216 weeks, last on list 09/06/1998)
2. TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE (206 weeks, last on list 12/19/2004)
3. THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING (186 weeks, last on list 05/27/1956)
4. A LIGHT IN THE ATTIC (182 weeks, last on list 12/04/1988)
5. OH, THE PLACES YOU'LL GO! (178 weeks, last on list 07/09/2000)
6. A MAN CALLED PETER (170 weeks, last on list 01/22/1956)
7. THE DA VINCI CODE (166 weeks, last on list 06/18/2006)
8. THE CELESTINE PROPHECY (165 weeks, last on list 06/15/1997)
9. THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY (164 weeks, last on list 10/08/1995)
10. PROFILES IN COURAGE (139 weeks, last on list 06/28/1964)
11. THE CAINE MUTINY (123 weeks, last on list 09/27/1953)
12. CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD: Book 1 (118 weeks, last on list 09/10/2000)
13. ANGELA'S ASHES (117 weeks, last on list 04/04/1999)
14. AUNTIE MAME (112 weeks, last on list 05/05/1957)
15. A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME (112 weeks, last on list 06/10/1990)
16. FREAKONOMICS (111 weeks, last on list 03/16/2008)
17. THE GREATEST GENERATION (110 weeks, last on list 03/18/2001)
18. ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN (110 weeks, last on list 03/03/1991)
19. GAMES PEOPLE PLAY (109 weeks, last on list 09/10/1967)
20. THE WORLD IS FLAT (106 weeks, last on list 06/17/2007)
21. ADVISE AND CONSENT (102 weeks, last on list 07/30/1961)
22. THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN (101 weeks, last on list 01/29/2006)
23. WOMEN WHO RUN WITH THE WOLVES (99 weeks, last on list 08/28/1994)
24. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (98 weeks, last on list 06/17/1962)
25. THE ART OF HAPPINESS (97 weeks, last on list 05/06/2001)
26. HAWAII (94 weeks, last on list 09/10/1961)
27. FOLK MEDICINE (93 weeks, last on list 02/19/1961)
28. JANE FONDA'S WORKOUT BOOK (92 weeks, last on list 10/30/1983)
29. HOW TO LIVE 365 DAYS A YEAR (90 weeks, last on list 12/09/1956)
30. THE BOOK OF VIRTUES (88 weeks, last on list 08/27/1995)
31. IACOCCA: An Autobiography (88 weeks, last on list 07/06/1986)
32. THE MILLIONAIRE NEXT DOOR (86 weeks, last on list 09/27/1998)
33. THE COMPLETE BOOK OF RUNNING (84 weeks, last on list 09/30/1979)
34. THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY (83 weeks, last on list 10/28/1962)
35. THE SEA AROUND US (81 weeks, last on list 02/08/1953)
36. KON-TIKI (81 weeks, last on list 03/30/1952)
37. HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE (81 weeks, last on list 07/16/2000)
38. BLINK (81 weeks, last on list 10/01/2006)
39. THE RISE AND FALL OF THE THIRD REICH (80 weeks, last on list 05/13/1962)
40. ILLUSIONS (80 weeks, last on list 05/13/1979)
41. GIFT FROM THE SEA (80 weeks, last on list 09/30/1956)
42. EXODUS (80 weeks, last on list 04/24/1960)
43. NOT AS A STRANGER (79 weeks, last on list 10/09/1955)
44. THE UGLY AMERICAN (78 weeks, last on list 04/17/1960)
45. TRINITY (77 weeks, last on list 09/11/1977)
46. PEYTON PLACE (76 weeks, last on list 03/23/1958)
47. MARLEY & ME (76 weeks, last on list 05/27/2007)
48. EMBRACED BY THE LIGHT (76 weeks, last on list 10/23/1994)
49. THE JOY OF SEX (73 weeks, last on list 05/19/1974)
50. THE SOURCE (71 weeks, last on list 10/16/1966)