Books are a favorite item on Christmas gift lists, but making a selection for someone can be difficult, given the hundreds of new titles published every year in the various categories to which books are assigned.
Amazon’s “Best of 2010” lists for books offers the buyer some insights into what editors picked as their top choices, along with the top choices that customers made according to their purchases through October, 2010.
Here is how Amazon summarized their top 100 editors’ picks:
“No year can be summed up in a sentence, but one thing we noticed about the books we loved best in 2010 was that many of the stories they told required extra time for seasoning, from Rebecca Skloot’s true-life detective story, the fruit of a decade’s patient research, to Karl Marlantes’s debut novel, which took over three decades to prove the old adage that a war’s finest fiction comes long after the fighting is done, to Patti Smith’s celebration of her bohemian youth from the wise, but no less wide-eyed, perspective of age. For stories like these, and the rest of our Top 100 Editors’ Picks for 2010, we’re willing to wait:”
And Amazon’s description of their top 100 customer favorites:
“Our top 100 customer favorites are ranked according to customer orders on Amazon.com through October. (Only books published for the first time in 2010 are eligible.)”
To find all of the Amazon information, begin at the “Amazon Best of 2010 Store.”
From that page you can link to these topics:
Top 100 Editors’ Picks
Top 100 Customer Favorites
Browse editors’ picks by categories
Browse customers’ favorites by categories
Browse picks from previous years (2000 to 2009)
Browse 2009 best of the month picks
To the right on the “Amazon Best of 2010 Store” page you will find links to the following:
Best of 2010 on Kindle
Talking to the best authors of 2010
Books of the Decade Store
Accessing these books from your library
These lists by Amazon are also helpful for individuals who make use of library resources. If you see a book that you want to read, you can check to see if it is in your library, or is on order. If it hasn’t been ordered, you can talk to a librarian and ask if a copy of that book can be purchased. Use the library’s book request system to have the book put on hold for you when it arrives at the library. Librarians are ready and willing to help patrons locate and request the books of their choice.
Editors’ picks vs. customers’ favorites
You will notice when you look through the lists of what the editors liked and what the customers bought that the two lists do not match up well in the various categories.
Of the top ten in each list, only four make both the editors’ picks and the customers’ favorites, and they aren’t in the same ranking on the two lists.
When it comes to cookbooks, there is no correlation. You can click on editors’ picks on the left of the page, then on customer favorites using the link on the right of the page. Editors liked books that were more specialized in topic (French, Thai, Southern, urban, Nordic, etc.) while customers were interested in easy-to-make foods, healthy cooking, and more celebrity-type books.
These Amazon lists are very informative for anyone in the market for a new read, or even for those who wish to write a book themselves. You get a good feeling from Amazon about what editors are looking for and what customers are actually buying, both from an historical perspective and also from information of a more current nature. They certainly put databases to a practical use!
For related articles by R.C. Johnson:
Amazon Shoppers Can Save $$$$ 4 Ways
Cookbook Review: ‘Healthy Calendar Diabetic Cooking’
Cookbook Review: ‘The New York Times Country Weekend Cookbook’
Cookbook Review: ‘Golden Door Cooks at Home’
Cookbook Review: ‘the Diabetic Chef’s Year-Round Cookbook’
Cookbook Review: 660 Curries by Award-winning Teacher Raghaven Iyer
Cookbooks from the Chefs: Reviews of Four
Source: Amazon Best of 2010 Store