Holiday perennial favourites: Non-Fiction

Welcome to the second entry in our blog series analyzing the top 10 perennially bestselling titles around the holidays. As we saw in the first post in this series covering fiction titles, the perennially bestselling titles around the holidays are not necessarily holiday-themed. Does this hold true for titles in the Non-Fiction category as well? Let's find out.

To find the Non-Fiction titles that are tried and true, we searched for titles that have consistently sold well (according to BNC SalesData, which tracks print sales in the English-language trade market) over the holiday season for the past five years. We searched for titles that ranked well in their category for the last eight weeks of the year, every year from 2012 to 2016. Once a list of titles was compiled, we sorted it by units sold in 2016 to ensure that the title rankings reflected each title’s current relevance.

Making the top ten does not always signify that a title has sold gangbusters in the short term, but rather that it's averaged more sales over those five years than the rest of the crowd.

These are the Non-Fiction titles that Canadians have consistently bought every year over the holiday period:

The Looneyspoons Collection
Janet Podleski and Greta Podleski
Granet Publishing
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
Mindy Kaling
Crown Archetype
The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
Bill Watterson
Andrews McMeel Publishing
The Book of Awesome
Neil Pasricha
Penguin Books
The Happiness Project
Gretchen Rubin
How to Win Friends and Influence People
Dale Carnegie
Gallery Books
The Wealthy Barber Returns
David Chilton
Financial Awareness Corp.
Wreck This Journal
Keri Smith
Penguin Books
The Glass Castle
Jeannette Walls
Go the F**K to Sleep
Ricardo Cortés
Akashic Books
  1. The Looneyspoons Collection by Janet Podleski, Greta Podleski (Canadian)
  2. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
  3. The Complete Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
  4. The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha (Canadian)
  5. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
  6. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  7. The Wealthy Barber Returns by David Chilton (Canadian)
  8. Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith
  9. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  10. Go the F**k to Sleep by Ricardo Cortés

The Non-Fiction list is perhaps the most varied out of all the categories we looked at, spanning cookbooks to personal memoirs all the way to a title like Go the F**k to Sleep. This is a great reflection of the diverse interests amongst Canadian book buyers.

The biggest category though, among these top 10 perennial holiday bestsellers, is self-help books: The Book of AwesomeThe Happiness ProjectHow to Win Friends and Influence People, and Wreck This Journal. Perhaps these books are bought as early New Year's resolution inspirations or purchased by the recipients of bookstore gift cards or holiday money. Or maybe Canadian gift givers just think their loved ones need a lot of help. Whatever the motive for the purchase, don't overlook these helpful titles.

Tomorrow we'll share our analysis of holiday perennial favourites in the Juvenile and Young Adult categories — stay tuned!