Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Stephenie Meyer's Growing Popularity


New Moon by Stephenie Meyer is currently #1 in the UK (week ending 17/1/09). Over the last decade or so, it's very rare that a children's book makes it to the #1 spot, and the only other person that I can think of to do it is J.K. Rowling with her Harry Potter books. Meyer has five titles in the top 12 this week, which is almost unheard of for a YA author.

Does this have something to do with the growing popularity of YA novels that I keep reading about, or more to do with the
Twilight movie? I'm thinking both.

I work at a large Borders store, and in my year and a half there (post HP & the Deathly Hallows), I've never witnessed such a frenzy for a series of books. I've seen people of all ages (ten being the youngest, to sixty-one being the oldest!) queueing outside in the rain until we opened, rushing in and running to the books as if their lives depended on it, and clutching them tightly until they'd paid and left the store. We even completely sold out during one week - hundreds of copies gone faster than we could get them delivered.

I first read the books about a year and a half ago, and was actually told about them on my first day at Borders. I'll own up and admit I'm a
Twilight fanatic, and that, yes, they are my favourite books. Since May, and the release of The Host, its been fascinating to see Stephenie Meyer grow in popularity. Long gone are the days when I'd mention Edward Cullen, or Eclipse, and be greeted with a "What on earth are you talking about?!" expression. Now, I don't think there are many households that don't own a copy of at least one of the books.

Any children's novel that can sell 44,000 units over here,
in one week, should be very, very proud of itself, and I think a lot of the thanks should go to booksellers and bloggers, who are more passionate about what they read than anyone could imagine.

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