A Complete Guide to the Bestselling Books of 2020

By , UniversityHerald Reporter

A Complete Guide to the Bestselling Books of 2020

Photo : A Complete Guide to the Bestselling Books of 2020

2020 has been an odd year, to say the least. However, it's been an incredible year to go through that stack of books you've been wanting to read yet never found the time to do so. 

Publishers Weekly reported that book sales for printed books were up by 6.4% for the first nine months of the year. Popular themes grossing high sales were social justice, children's books, and YA nonfiction. 

While taking adventures through the pages of written stories, learning new things, and discovering a new favorite author, you may have stumbled upon one of these bestselling books of 2020.


Hardcover sales experienced a 6.2% increase in sales, a 3.5% increase in adult fiction, and an 18.6% increase in young adult fiction. These 4 popular titles stole everyone's attention. 

  • Battle Ground by Jim Butcher

  • The Coast to Coast Murderers by James Patterson

  • A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig


Trade paperbacks saw an 8.3% increase in sales. A few favorites were:

  • The Institute by Stephen King

  • Swimming Lessons: Poems by Lili Reinhart

  • The Midwife Murders by James Patterson

  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah


Adult nonfiction sales increased by 1.7% while young adult nonfiction sales increased by a whopping 36.5%. 2 Bestsellers for 2020 are as follows. 

  • White Fragility: Why It's So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo

  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind by Yuval Noah Harari


With families at home more often and educational moments splitting between online classes and teaching from the kitchen table, picture books have seen a rise like never before. From educational books to simple reads to encourage less computer time, these bestsellers have been flying off the shelves at bookstores worldwide.

  • The Office: A Day at Dunder Mifflin Elementary by Robb Pearlman and Melanie Demmer

  • I Promise by LeBron James and Nina Mata

  • Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry and Vashti Harrison

As of March, 31-40% of Millennials, Gen X, and Gen Z increased their reading time and sought out new books to fill their time. It's no real shock that the pandemic had a positive impact on the book market. With more time at home, there's only so much Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming sites can provide you with for entertainment. However, books are endless forms of amusement and there are a variety of reads out there for any category you're interested in. 

With businesses reopening in parts of the world, and social distancing becoming the new norm, we expect to see some other great books hit the shelves in the final months of 2020. Perhaps the upcoming holidays will bring gifts of new tales and stories for those looking to do a little more reading this year. 

At the end of December, we hope and expect to continue seeing an increase in book sales due to the pandemic, and will be back with an updated list for the bestsellers of 2020.

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