The Amazon Alphabet: From Audio Books to Zane

January 20, 2011 | 9 books mentioned 6

coverYou’ve probably noticed that Amazon, like many sites, employs an “auto-complete” feature on its search box. When you start typing in letters, it suggests things that begin with those letters. It’s probably safe to assume that it suggests the most frequently searched words, so, if we look at Amazon’s book section we can type in letters and discover, for each letter of the alphabet, the most popular searches on Amazon. Last time we did this, about a year and half ago, vampires were the dominant theme. This time around, the vampires have mostly disappeared and things are perhaps a touch more literary. As we termed it last time, you might consider this exercise, the ABCs of Amazon (a peek into the reading habits of America and, like it or not, a primer for what’s popular in the world of books):

(Amazon has been known to personalize and regularly adjust its results, so your Amazon alphabet may vary.)

created The Millions and is its publisher. He and his family live in New Jersey.


  1. i was looking through the top-selling books a couple days ago. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was a topseller. I wonder if this censorship controversy was just a big publicity stunt planned 100 years ago to boost autobiography sales.

  2. Here’s the equivalent list from, for comparison:

    Agatha Christie
    Bernard Cornwell (historical adventure novels)
    Cookery books
    Diary of a Wimpy Kid
    Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
    Harry Potter
    Ian Rankin (Scottish crime novels)
    Jamie Oliver (TV chef)
    Lee Child
    Martina Cole
    Nigel Slater (TV chef)
    One Day
    Paul McKenna (hypnotist/self-help guru)
    Qi (TV general knowledge show)
    Sophie Kinsella
    Usborne children’s books
    Vampire diaries
    Weight watchers
    Zen (detective from a series by Michael Dibdin)

    So obviously vampires haven’t jumped the shark in UK yet. Nice to see 2 TV chefs AND weight watchers on the list, in perfect karmic balance.

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