Also written by Sarah Thornton
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TikTok’s influential #BookTok site has delivered major New Zealand book retailer Whitcoulls a whopping 49 percent more votes from enthusiastic readers, as they announce their 2022 Top 100 Books List today, Monday July 25, 2022.
The impact of #BookTok on the List can be seen by the arrival of newcomer Colleen Hoover, who storms straight into the number two position with her bestselling book It Ends with Us. Other titles to ‘feel the love’ are The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo ranked in sixth place; The Song of Achilles at number 11; Ugly Love at number 16; Verity at number 18; and mega-bestseller Atomic Habits which sits at number 31.
Whitcoulls Book Manager Joan Mackenzie says, “#BookTok has been driving both sales and votes to an unprecedented degree, most noticeable here with more than 20 percent of the List dominated by #BookTok favourites. These include five books by Colleen Hoover. A year ago, she was largely unknown to us but since she has been promoted on the social media platform, she’s suddenly become one of our biggest selling authors.”
Always a firm favourite, J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series reclaims the top spot again this year and keeps good company with other books in a series. These include books adapted for television and streamed on platforms such as Netflix, including the Heartstoppers Series (#5) which has contributed to its popularity with Whitcoulls readers. Other popular books and series at the top of the List are Where the Crawdads Sing (#3) which has just been released into movie theatres, and The Seven Sisters Series (#4).
The List boasts 31 new books this year, 14 of them by New Zealand authors. They include newcomers Chloe Gong, raised in Auckland and bestselling author of the Violent End Series (#17); media darling Toni Street with her memoir, Lost and Found (#27); Ruth Shaw’s compelling memoir, The Bookseller at the End of the World (#40); and linguist and educator Keri Opai’s Tikanga: An Introduction to Te Ao Māori (#56).
There has also been a resurgence in votes for classic books, contemporary classics, spiritual and personal development titles, which perhaps reflects COVID reading habits. Among the most popular are Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (#9); Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief (#10); Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (#14); and The Bible (#26).
“A lot of people rediscovered the pleasure of reading during the multiple lockdowns, and it looks as though some of this included playing catch up with old classics on their reading bucket lists,” says Mackenzie. She was personally excited to see the legendary Miriam Margolyes’s memoir, This Much is True (#76) voted into the List which Mackenzie says is extraordinary.
Whitcoulls say reading is as popular as ever and quality local and international publishing is in good heart. They hope their List will continue to inspire more people to read.
Whitcoulls have been asking Kiwi readers to vote for their favourite books for nearly 30 years and their annual List provides a barometer of readings tastes, and trends. Whitcoulls will be proudly showcasing the nation’s favourite books instore and online at https://www.whitcoulls.co.nz/collection/top-100.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Whitcoulls is a major national retailer, offering a wide selection of books, stationery, educational toys, puzzles, games, gifts, greeting cards and wrap. Whitcoulls was founded over 130 years ago when George Tombs, a printer and bookbinder, and George Whitcombe, a publisher and bookseller, combined their businesses to create a national publishing company. Whitcombe & Tombs merged with key competitor Coulls Somerville Wilkie and was renamed Whitcoulls in 1973. Whitcoulls is now proudly New Zealand owned by the James Pascoe Group which includes The Farmers Trading Co, Stevens, Pascoes the Jewellers, Stewart Dawsons and Goldmark.