Harry Potter leads the way on a global odyssey

March 5th, 2008 - 6:04 pm ICT by admin  

London, March 5 (ANI): All of us abide by our national stereotypes when it comes to buying books. But, there’s one common literary factor that has surpassed all national, cultural and social boundaries - Harry Potter.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, JK Rowling’s last and final tale in the famous boy wizard series, has topped the bestseller lists for the UK, US, France and Germany, according to Internet retailer Amazon.

A survey of global reading habits has revealed that we all adapt our national stereotypes, with the French opting for morose highbrow tomes, the Americans for self help guides, the British for trivia and books by celebrities, the Germans for holidays and the Japanese for more eclectic tastes.

But the survey also revealed that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was voted the number one read across UK, US, France and Germany, barring Japan, wherein it was placed at number three behind two health and beauty titles, Yukuko Tanaka’s Face Massage and Inspiring Exercise.

The list for Britons includes the offerings of celebrity chefs and television personalities with just two fiction titles, besides Harry Potter, managing to enter at the bottom of the list, reports Times Online.

Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver come in at second and third place while Richard Hammond’s autobiography On the Edge, which details his death-defying 300mph car crash, comes in at number five.

In Germany books on travel and the great outdoors are most popular, but they also win the prize for the driest bestseller. In eighth place is the country’s Civil Code.

The French seem to love fictions, for the list features no less than seven works of fiction, most of them spectacularly French-sounding novels. They include: L’elegance du herisson, about a suicidal girl and her apartment building’s philosophy-loving caretaker; Chagrin d’ecole, about a miserable student; and Un secret, set in the aftermath of the Nazi occupation and is the story of a sickly boy who invents an imaginary brother only to find out that such a brother did exist.

The American list is full of self-improvement books like, Eat, Pray, Love (one woman’s search for everything across Italy, India and Indonesia); Good to Great (why some companies make the leap . . . and others don’t); Now Discover Your Strengths (how to develop your talents and those of the people you manage); and Deceptively Delicious (simple secrets to get your kids eating good food).

Amazon has compiled the bestselling books list from sales on its global sites.

Kes Nielsen, head of book buying, estimated that three-quarters of those on the list had been boosted into their positions by people buying for Christmas, which may shed light on why novels do not make a more prominent appearance on the UK version.

He said: “People don’t tend to buy fiction as a present as it is a very personal thing.”


United Kingdom

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows J. K. Rowling
2. Nigella Express Nigella Lawson
3. Jamie at Home: Cook Your Way to the Good Life Jamie Oliver
4. Do Ants Have Arseholes?: And 101 Other Bloody Ridiculous Questions Jon Butler
5. On the Edge Richard Hammond
6. My Booky Wook Russell Brand
7. QI: The Book of General Ignorance QI
8. Half of a Yellow Sun Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
9. The God Delusion Richard Dawkins
10. A Thousand Splendid Suns Khaled Hosseini

United States

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows J. K. Rowling
2. The Secret Rhonda Byrne
3. Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert
4. A Thousand Splendid Suns Khaled Hosseini
5. The Dangerous Book for Boys Conn Iggulden
6. Deceptively Delicious Jessica Seinfeld
7. Strengthsfinder 2.0 Tom Rath
8. Good to Great Jim Collins
9. Water for Elephants Sara Gruen 1
10. Now Discover Your Strengths Marcus Buckingham


1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows J. K. Rowling
2. I do not know how to lose weight Dr Pierre Dukan
3. The elegance of the hedgehog Muriel Barbery
4. School blues Daniel Pennac
5. Secret* Philippe Grimbert
6. Volume 18: The Irish Jean Van Hamme
7. Volume 19: The Last Round Jean Van Hamme
8. A Life Simone Veil
9. Fitness: 110 exercises without equipment Olivier Lafay
10.The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo* Stieg Larsson


1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows J. K. Rowling
2. I am off for bit, then Hape Kerkeling
3. For every solution a problem Kerstin Gier
4. Volume 3 of the Inkworld Trilogy Cornelia Funke
5. The Secret Rhonda Byrne
6. A Fjord Angelo Colagrossi
7. The Joy of Life Calendar 2008
8. The Civil Code
9. The Cleaner*Paul Cleave
10. The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini


1. Yukuko Tanakas Face Massage Yukuko Tanaka
2. Inspiring Exercise Micaco
3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows J. K. Rowling
4. Michelin Guide to Tokyo 2008 Michelin
5. Nodame Cantabile 17 (Manga) Tomoko Ninomiya
6. The Homeless Junior High School Student Hiroshi Tamura
7. Between living organisms and inanimate objects Shinichi Fukuoka
8. Moyashimon Volume 6 (Manga) Masayuki Ishikawa
9. The Secret Rhonda Byrne
10. Nodame Cantabile 18 (Manga) Tomoko Ninomiya


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