For the first time, erotic romance dominated the list of the best-selling books of 2012 at Copperfield’s Books.
“Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James took the No. 1 spot for books sold this year, claiming 25 percent of the unit sales for the top 10. By adding the sequels, “Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Freed,” this series accounted for 47 percent of sales in the top 10 at Copperfield’s Books in 2012.
Still riding high and capitalizing on this year’s movie release, all three books from “The Hunger Games” series by Suzanne Collins made it in the top 10 with “The Hunger Games” at No. 2, “Mockingjay” at No. 5, and “Catching Fire” at No. 9. These three titles constituted 30 percent of sales in the top 10.
Together with the “Fifty Shades of Grey” series, the two series accounted for 77.5 percent of the bestselling books.
Much like the Harry Potter series in years past, the release of the movie “The Hunger Games” drove sales of the book series and captured a new adult market in what had been previously a young-adult series.
Literature of a more highbrow nature found its way to the list as well. “State of Wonder,” a novel by Ann Patchett, and “The Tiger’s Wife” by Tea Obreht both made the list, at Nos. 6 and 10 respectively.
Also making the list and representing the only nonfiction was “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed.
“Glee” star Chris Colfer captured the No. 8 spot with his children’s book, “The Land of Stories,” primarily amassing sales in one day during his appearance at Copperfield’s Petaluma store this summer.
“‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ are vastly different books, but they deal with the need to restore one’s power in whatever way seems to work, sometimes without regard to the moral implications,” said Sheryl Cotleur, Copperfield’s book buyer.
Of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” series, Sebastopol store manager Emily Cole noted, “Most customers want them wrapped in a brown bag.”
Of the top 11 titles, 10 are by female writers and have female protagonists. This year’s top 10 list is predominately made up of fiction.
Another notable book in the top 20 was “Unbroken: The World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption,” by Laura Hillenbrand, which was on the top 10 list last year and came out in paperback this year. Bookseller favorite “The Art of Fielding: A Novel,” by Chad Harbach, also made the list.
Once again, “The Diary of a Wimpy Kid” children’s series had a contender in the top 12 with “The Third Wheel.” The humor photo book called “Unlikely Friendships,” documenting friendships between animals such as an African elephant and a sheep, slid into position 20.
Sales are recorded from all six Copperfield’s Books stores — in Napa, Calistoga, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Sebastopol and Healdsburg — for 2012. Books that were published in December often show up in the following year’s results.