The Amazon Alphabet: From Audio Books to Zoo

September 24, 2012 | 10 books mentioned 4 2 min read

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, the results were fairly literary and 18 months before that, vampires reigned. This time around, Fifty Shades has ushered in an era of erotic-inflected popular fiction, and diet books and YA lit figure prominently as well. You might consider this exercise, the ABCs of Amazon, to be 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 did this for (since I am above the border). Here were the ones that differed:

    Game of Thrones
    Insurgent (by Veronica Roth, second book in a popular YA series)
    Louise Penny
    Maya Banks
    Organizational Behaviour
    Robert Munsch (he’s our Dr. Seuss…)
    Zadie Smith

  2. I did this for as I am in the Uk and I had 15 differences they were:

    A – Anna Karenina
    C – Clare Balding
    E – Enid Blyton
    G – Game of Thrones
    I – Ian McEwan
    M – Marian Keyes
    N – Nigella Lawson
    O-Of Mice and Men
    P – Peter James
    Q – Quilting
    R- Roald Dahl
    U – Usbourne
    V – Victoria Pendleton
    W – Wolf Hall
    Z – Zadie Smith

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