Has The 'Me Before You' Movie Impacted Book Sales?

by Emma Cueto

Between the many different book formats to choose from nowadays — not to mention the many different places to buy books — trying to calculate a clear bestseller for the year can be tricky. But so far this year, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes seems to be the 2016 bestseller — though it's certainly not the only book with a notable presence on the bestseller lists.

Me Before You was originally published in 2012 in the UK, and was popular both among critics and readers (though it did receive significant criticism from people with disabilities and disability advocates), but its current surge in the bestseller lists several years later is almost certainly due to the movie adaptation that was released this summer. In fact, the trailer's debut in February also caused a jump in book sales. Three different editions of the book are currently in the top 20 slots of the Nielsen BookScan rankings for the first half of 2016. The ebook version is similarly popular on Amazon, and two editions of the novel are currently among the top 20 bestselling books on Amazon.

So even though there is no clear book dominating sales in 2016 so far — the way that, say, Girl on the Train did last year — it seems Me Before You is more likely to be the bestseller of the last six months.

However, there are plenty of other books going strong in 2016. The most popular new release seems to be When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, which is ranked fourth on the BookScan list. And over a quarter century after its release, Oh, the Places You'll Go! was the bestselling print book for the first half of 2016, mostly due to the tradition of giving it as a graduation gift. Though children's books in general have a significant presence on bestseller lists this year, including classics like Green Eggs and Ham and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. So maybe it isn't all graduation hype.

And, interestingly, Girl on the Train might not be the bestselling juggernaut in 2016 it was in 2015, but it's still among the top 20 ebooks on Amazon.

Still, overall, it seems that Me Before You is the book to watch this year in the race for 2016 bestseller. And it seems that every person who has ever lamented to me that "all the book-to-movie adaptations clearly mean people aren't reading anymore because they can just wait for the movie" don't know what they're talking about. Books and movies can go together quite well, thank you.

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