Sunday, October 21, 2007

The “Twilight” of Bestsellers

Several months ago I was in my office meeting with my sales rep from Hachette. As we looked through the catalogs, selecting books to buy for the store, we came to Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer, the third book of her series. I hadn't read the other two, although I had seen them on the bestseller lists.

Problem is I've never been a fan of bestseller lists. First, they are too easily manipulated. Second, many lists are so last week (or the week before that), literally. Lastly, just because everyone else is reading these books, does that mean I should pick one up and follow the crowd? I've a huge pile of books to read anyway, and very few, if any are on the bestseller lists.

This doesn't mean I don't pay attention to bestsellers. I personally like the books on the Booksense list. I purchase books on the bestseller lists for the store- because they sell, because people like to read them. I just don't read a many of them.

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer was one of those books I avoided because it was on the bestseller list. And, it was billed as a "young adult romance." I like YA. I'm just not a reader of romances. I'd sold a fair number of copies of both Twilight and New Moon, so when Randy, my sales rep showed me Eclipse, I ordered 10 copies.

Two weeks before the release of Eclipse, I figured I should read Twilight and New Moon before Eclipse came out, so I got Twilight and took it home. Two days later, I bought New Moon to take on a trip. I was done with it before I stepped off the airplane. I couldn't wait for Eclipse to come out. It was then that I realized- ten copies of Eclipse weren't going to be enough. Turned out, I was right.

Those who've read the three books understand what a darkly fun series it is. Stephanie Meyer writes her story well, making you believe the unbelievable. Even more than the story, the characters are fascinating and keep you reading even when the story slows. There are a lot of girls and women who I've spoken with who are in love with Edward. There are even a few boys who've admitted they really like Bella (boys don't like to use the word love). Me? I've got a crush on Edward's sister, Alice. Just don't tell my wife.

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