Lists of The New York Times nonfiction best sellers

This is a list of lists by year of The New York Times nonfiction best sellers.

The New York Times Best Seller list was first published without fanfare on October 12, 1931.[1][2] It consisted of five fiction and four nonfiction for the New York City region only.[2] The following month the list was expanded to eight cities, with a separate list for each city.[2] By the early 1940s, fourteen cities were included. A national list was created April 9, 1942 in The New York Times Book Review (Sundays) as a supplement to the regular paper's city lists (Monday edition).[2] The national list ranked by weighting how many times the book appeared in each city list.[2] A few years later, the city lists were eliminated leaving only the national rankings, which was compiled according to "reports from leading booksellers in 22 cities," a system which remains essentially unchanged to this day (though the specifics have changed).[2]

A separate category for "Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous" books was created January 1, 1984. Its number one bestseller (The Body Principal by Victoria Principal) had been number ten and number twelve on the nonfiction lists for the two preceding weeks.[3]

By yearEdit

(links are to lists of The New York Times nonfiction best sellers of each year)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ New York Times, October 12, 1931. 19
  2. ^ a b c d e f Laura J. Miller (2000). "The Best-Seller List as Marketing Tool and Historical Fiction". In Ezra Greenspan (ed.). Book History. Vol. Three. Penn State Press. pp. 286–304. ISBN 0271020504.
  3. ^ "The New York Times Book Review Best Sellers", NYT January 1, 1984, page BR28.
    "Best Sellers", NYT December 25, 1983, page BR13.