Holiday book buying kicked into high gear last week, with unit sales of print books jumping 44.3% over the week ended November 29, 2020, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. The smallest gain in the week came in young adult fiction, where sales increased 31.2%, whereas the biggest jump was in young adult nonfiction, which had an 86.8% increase.
In general, the sales boost came from higher sales of existing titles. For example, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, last year's Barnes & Noble book of the year, saw sales skyrocket to about 138,000 copies last week from just over 14,000 copies in the previous week. Holiday favorite How the Grinch Stole Christmas had a 77% sales jump in the week, with sales nearing 52,000 copies sold.
A couple of new titles contributed to the sales gain. Cat Kid Comic Club sold almost 126,000 copies, helping to lift sales in the juvenile fiction category by 41.1% in the week. My Little Golden Book About Ruth Bader Ginsburg sold almost 43,000 copies in its first week on sale, contributing to a 57.3% rise in unit sales in the juvenile nonfiction segment.
The huge gain in young adult nonfiction was led by Essentially Charlie, which sold over 11,000 copies in its first week on sale, landing it in top spot on the category list. The Black Friend was in third place, selling about 4,500 copies in its first week.
The adult nonfiction category had a 45% sales increase despite a 13% decline in sales of A Promised Land. Barack Obama's memoir remained the top-selling title in the country last week, selling more than 357,000 copies. Helping to offset the Promised Land dip were first week sales of more than 32,000 copies for The Meateater Guide to Wilderness Skills and Survival and a 60% jump in sales of Modern Comfort Food, to nearly 41,000 copies.