December 26, 2018 • Cee • Discussion

You ever want to know what people are buying in bookstores? Well, it so happens that I work at one, and I wanted to write about what books customers have been asking for during the holiday season. All bookstores are different, so the customers coming in ask for different things. These are just the books the customers in my area asked for during the past week leading up to Christmas 2018. This list isn’t a conclusive list; the books here are the ones that I’ve remembered because I’ve been asked about it a bazillion times or I’ve seen customers holding it.

The Overstory by Richard Powers* | Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat* |
Becoming by Michelle Obama* | Circe by Madeline Miller*

Appetites: A Cookbook by Anthony Bourdain | Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou* | Dog Man: Brawl of the Wild by Dav Pilkey21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari*

Elevation by Stephen King | Bird Box by Josh Malerman* |
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller* | How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin

Designing Your Life: How to Build A Well-Lived Joyful Life by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans | If They Come For Us: Poems by Fatimah Asghar* |
History of the World Map by Map by DK Publishing | The Flame by Leonard Cohen*

Ottolenghi Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi | There There by Tommy Orange | The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin* | I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez*

The Laws of Human Nature by Robert GreeneThe State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity by Esther PerelChildren of Blood and Bone by Tomi AdeyemiSnoop Dogg: From Crook to Cook by Snoop Dogg*

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje | The Bob’s Burgers Burger Book by Loren Bouchard | Educated by Tara WestoverThe 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

Everything with an asterisk next to it are books that were sold out early on during the Christmas weekend.

Becoming, Salt Fat Acid Heat, Circe, The Song of Achilles, Bird Box, and Ottolenghi Simple were the books that every other customer kept asking for. These books aside from The Song of Achilles and Ottolenghi Simple were temporarily out of stock with our vendors. Really hot items.

In comparison to last Christmas, I thought it was fascinating that the Obama books (last year was Obama: An Intimate Portrait, this year Michelle Obama’s Becoming) were the ones people consistently want. I totally understand why, and it pleases me that they continue to capture everybody’s attention. No repeat books from last year except for Salt Fat Acid Heat. That continues to be a hot seller for the holidays.

Lots of customers came in without a specific book in mind, so it was fun, trying to find books that would be great gifts. Not all customers are alike, so my recommendations change depending on the person’s interest. Off the top of my head, for those customers, my go-to recommends were: 

I’m sure I’m forgetting a lot of books that I’ve recommended. This holiday season was super busy, and I’m glad it’s now over.

Were there any surprises? What books do you think people asked for a lot? If you work at a bookstore, tell me what books your customers asked for. 

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2 Responses to “BOOKS IN HANDS • What Readers Bought During Christmas 2018”

  1. Kayla says:

    I love this! I definitely want to read A Song of Achilles and Circe! The Becoming Obama one is definitely interesting as well! I noticed that there was a lot more personal development books like Dare to Lead being really popular or The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F****. As well, Song of Fire and Ice and Girl, Wash Your Face were always out of stock in our book areas. It was very interesting to see.

  2. Sarah J. says:

    Why am I just now finding out that there is a Bob’s Burgers joke cookbook? This is the kind of junk I want cluttering my kitchen. It’s so exciting how many of these books sold out during Christmas! I suspect it’s a fan time for book buying since the best of the year lists start coming out near Christmas.


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