January 4, 2020 • Cee • Discussion

You ever want to know what people are buying in bookstores? Well, it so happens that I work at one!

During the last week of February 2018, I pondered about what type of post to make for “Books in Hand.” At first, I planned to discuss all the books customers came in asking for or buying, but that’s a bit too much because everybody came in asking for different books, and I didn’t remember all of them. My boss showed me a way to check our store’s best selling books, and I found out what we sold a lot of!

And that’s what this post is—seeing the top ten selling books of December 2019 (aka the books that people were also getting as gifts).


Strange Planet by Nathan W. Pyle | The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy (not pictured b/c I messed up) | The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates | There There by Tommy Orange |  Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens | The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood | The Guardians by John Grisham | The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead | Little Women by Louisa May Alcott | The Institute by Stephen King

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood | Olive Again by Elizabeth Strout | Agent Running in the Field by John Le CarréThe Starless Sea by Erin MorgensternLittle Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean VuongExhalation: Stories by Ted ChiangDune by Frank Herbert | The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller | The Overstory by Richard Powers


Dog Man: Fetch-22 by Dav Pilkey | Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi | Guts by Raina Telgemeier | Wrecking Ball (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #14) by Jeff KinneyThe Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande

The Crayons’ Christmas by Drew Daywalt & Oliver Jeffers | Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o & Vashti HarrisonTales from a Not-So-Best Friend Forever (Dork Diaries #14) by Rachel Renee Russell | Hello World! Solar System by Jill McDonaldGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

My Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak and ___________ | Sisters by Raina Telgemeier | The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson #1) by Rick Riordan | Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History by Vashti HarrisonHow the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss

Frozen II (Little Golden Book) by Nancy Cote  | I Like Myself! by Karen BeaumontDog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls by Dav PilkeyHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Illustrated by J.K. Rowling | Boy-Crazy Stacey (The Baby-Sitter’s Club Graphic Novel #7) by Ann M. Martin & Gale Galligan


Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice | No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference by Greta Thunberg | Becoming by Michelle Obama | Always Running by Luis J. Rodriguez | Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman

Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell | Born A Crime by Trevor NoahThe Body by Bill BrysonSalt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat The Sixth Man by Andre Iguodala

The Beautiful Ones by Prince | Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell | The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz | Dear Girls by Ali Wong | Educated by Tara WestoverSapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari 

Modern Witch Tarot Deck by Lisa SterleI Heart Michelle: Uplifting Widsom from the Former First Lady 50 Things to See in the Sky by Sarah BakerThe Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark MansonJay-Z: Made in America by Michael Eric Dyson


  • Every bookstore’s top-selling books will be different from each other. This list is just for my store.
  • These books seem to be forever on the top-selling list: The Alchemist, anything Dog Man or Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck, You Are A Badass, The Four Agreements, the 5 Love Languages, and Milk and Honey. (Don’t be surprise if you see these books here or in future “Books in Hand” posts. People love these books.)
  • I omitted the poetry list because it didn’t change from February, so it was The Sun and Her FlowersPillow Thoughts, and Milk and Honey.
Were there any surprises? What did you think would be a top-selling book? What books from this list have you read? 


One Response to “BOOKS IN HAND • What Customers Bought in December 2019”

  1. I just finished working seasonally at a bookstore, so all of these are VERY familiar to me! Especially books like Where the Crawdads Sing, Becoming, Dogman, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Boy, Olive Again, and The Overstory. I, myself, got The Starless Sea and The Water Dancer, so I’m not surprised at all by anything on this list haha!

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