In the last full shopping week before Christmas, unit sales of print books fell 3.5%, compared to the similar week in 2019, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. Sales were down in the four biggest segments, with juvenile nonfiction units falling the most, dropping 9.2%, compared to the week ended Dec. 21, 2019. The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook by Dinah Bucholz was #1 on the category list, selling over 35,000 copies. Last year at this time, the title sold more than 37,000 copies and was in third place, topped by Raina Telgemeier’s Guts (about 43,000 copies sold) and The Try Not to Laugh Challenge by Crazy Corey, which sold about 39,000 copies. The juvenile fiction category had a 4.4% decline in the week, with Cat Kid Comic Club by Dav Pilkey at #1, selling over 88,000 copies. Last year, Pilkey’s Dog Man: Fetch-22 was on top of the charts, with more than 215,000 copies sold, while Jeff Kinney’s Wrecking Ball (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #14) sold nearly 111,000 copies. The adult nonfiction and fiction segments had declines of 1.7% and 1.2%, respectively. Barack Obama’s A Promised Land was the top seller in the most recent week, selling more than 327,000 copies, a total offset by strength throughout the category a year ago. In adult fiction, the top seller for the week before Christmas last year was Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, which sold about 70,000 copies, while Charlie Mackesy’s The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse was #1 in 2020, selling nearly 53,000 copies.
Editor’s note: Because of an early deadline for this week’s magazine, we were unable to run BookScan figures for the week ended Dec. 26.