More strong increases in fiction, coupled with a small gain in adult nonfiction, led to a 2.7% rise in unit sales of print books last week at outlets that report to NPD BookScan over the week ended October 17, 2020. Last week’s gain marked the second consecutive week of rising sales after a summer in which sales were down more than they were up compared to 2020.

Last week also marked a rare increase in adult nonfiction sales since the spring, albeit a small one of 0.4%. The segment has faced difficult comparisons to last year, which had numerous racial justice and political bestsellers. Those sales, however, cooled last year as the presidential election neared; in the week ended October 17, 2020, the top adult nonfiction title was Modern Comfort Food by Ina Garten, which sold nearly 54,000 copies.

Last week, six of the top 10 bestselling adult nonfiction books were new. To Rescue the Republic by Brett Baier was the #2 title in the category, selling over 29,000 copies, followed by Ron Howard’s memoir, The Boys, which sold over 21,000 copies. Misha Collins’s book of poems, Some Things I Still Can’t Tell You, sold over 20,000 copies, putting it in fifth place on the category bestseller list, followed by The Forever Dog by Rodney Habib, which sold just under 20,000 copies, and Midnight in Washington by Adam Schiff, which sold more than 17,000 copies. The Storyteller by Dave Grohl was the top title, selling more than 31,000 copies.

Adult fiction sales rose 18.2% last week, led by the release of State of Terror by Louise Penny and Hillary Clinton, which sold more than 61,000 copies in its first week on sale. The only other new title to crack the top 10 on the category bestseller list was Silverview, the last completed novel by John le Carré, which sold over 15,000 copies.

Juvenile fiction sales increased 3.6% last week with The Christmas Pig by J.K. Rowling heading the category bestseller list, selling more than 37,000 copies in its first week in sale. The young adult category had a great week, with unit sales up 30.9%. Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World by Benjamin Alire Saenz was the #1 title in the segment, selling more than 13,000 copies in its first week on sale.