While Thanksgiving week provided a solid sales boost over the week ended November 19, the increase was not enough to lift unit sales of print books over the week ended November 27, 2021, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. Total unit sales fell 10.3% from 2021, as juvenile nonfiction sales declined 21% and adult nonfiction dropped 17.4%.
In adult nonfiction, Michelle Obama’s The Light We Carry was the runaway category bestseller, selling nearly 97,000 copies compared to Faith Still Moves Mountains by Harris Faulkner, which was in second place on the list and sold roughly 30,000 copies. Last year at this time, The Real Anthony Fauci by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. was #1 in the category, selling more than 46,000 copies.
The big drop in juvenile nonfiction came despite no big bestseller a year ago. The top category seller last year at this time was How to Draw 101 Animals by Dan Green, which sold just over 12,000 copies. Last week, #1 in the category was Super Extra Deluxe Essential Handbook (Pokemon), which sold just over 9,000 copies, edging out World of Eric Carle, which sold slightly under 9,000 copies.
As usua, adult fiction was the only category to post an increase in the week, with units up 4.3%. Colleen Hoover continued to ring up big sales with It Starts with Us at #1, selling more than 105,000 copies, followed by It Ends with Us, selling over 65,000 copies. In third place on the category list was the newest Nora Roberts novel, The Choice, which sold more than 47,000 copies in its first week on sale.
Juvenile fiction sales fell 9.1%, following a familiar scenario, with Jeff Kinney’s newest Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, Diper Överlöde, easily taking the #1 spot in the category, selling almost 81,000 copies. Young adult sales slipped 5.2%. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder was #1 in the category, selling over 14,000 copies.
While the 17.6 million copies sold last week was a decline of 10.3% from last year’s Thanksgiving week, the figure was only 1.3% below sales in 2020, and was up 5.9% compared to Thanksgiving week in 2019.