Kathy Reichs on top, but book sales wilt in the heat
25.05.10 | Philip Stone


As temperatures rose across the UK towards the end of last week, book sales wilted in the heat.

According to Nielsen BookScan data, £23.7m was spent on books during the seven days to 22nd May, down 6.8% week-on-week and down 11.6% on the same week last year—when Patricia Cornwell’s Scarpetta (Sphere) topped the Official UK Top 50 with a 34,060 sale.

This week’s number one remains Kathy Reichs whose 206 Bones (Arrow) sold 31,236 copies at UK book retail outlets across the seven days to 22nd May. Michael Connelly’s Jack McEvoy thriller The Scarecrow (Orion) climbs nine places into second position overall, thanks in part to a spot in W H Smith’s popular “£2.99 if you buy the Times” promotion. Stieg Larsson’s The Girl who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest (Quercus), which has now sold 348,879 copies in its mass-market edition, falls one place to third position overall.

Kathryn Stockett’s The Help (Penguin), which has been a huge success Stateside where it has sold more than 1.5m copies, is one of this week’s big climbers, moving 17 places northwards in the Official UK Top 50—thanks in part to a till-point “link-save” deal at Waterstone’s.

This week’s highest new entry, Richelle Mead’s Spirit Bound (Puffin), joins the chart in 31st place and is the fifth instalment in the US novelist’s Vampire Academy series. The book joins this week’s children’s chart in third position, behind Stephenie Meyer’s Eclipse (Atom) and L J Smith’s Vampire Diaries: The Return—Shadow Souls (Hodder), in a vampire-dominated Top 20.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey Archer’s latest short-story collection, And Thereby Hangs a Tale (Macmillan), is the new number one in Original Fiction, while both Edith Cotterill’s Nurse on Call (Ebury) and Jamie Oliver’s Jamie Does… (Michael Joseph) retain their respective number one positions in paperback and hardback non-fiction.

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