The Jakarta Post
'Fifty Shades of Grey' by EL James. (Shutterstock/Radu Bercan)
EL James’ erotic Fifty Shades books have been crowned the best-selling novels of the decade, with all three novels taking the first three spots on the top 10 list, CNN reported on Thursday.
The British author, whose real name is Erika Leonard, originally wrote Fifty Shades of Grey as fan-fiction to Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series, sharing it only on an online fan-fiction forum back in 2012.
The story, with a spotlight on young Anastasia Steele’s BDSM relationship with her wealthy and mysterious older boyfriend Christian Grey, was well-received around the world.
Seven years later, Fifty Shades of Grey has sold an estimated 15.2 million copies around the world, with its second installment Fifty Shades Darker and the third installment Fifty Shades Freed selling about 10.4 million and 9.3 million copies respectively, according to NDP BookScan.
Other titles on the best-selling novels of the decade list are Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games (2008) and The Help (2009) by Kathryn Stockett. The novels tied with 8.7 million copies sold, earning them the fourth and fifth spots.
The dystopian-themed The Hunger Games series was adapted into feature films starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson as main characters Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark.
Gillian Flynn’s 2012 thriller Gone Girl, with 8.1 million copies sold, was narrowly beaten by Paula Hawkin’s 2015 The Girl on The Train, with 8.2 million copies cold, living up to reviewers’ billing for the novel to be "the next Gone Girl".
The last remaining spots on the top 10 list were taken by John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo and Veronica Roth’s Divergent.
In a written statement, NDP Bookscan analyst Kristen McLean said book sales were closely influenced by Hollywood’s power, noting that most of the books on the list had been adapted into feature films.
“Many of the recent decade's top-selling books, including these leaders, were tied to movie adaptations, which is a testament to the marketing power Hollywood brings to book sales," she said.
Despite the notable decline of print media in recent years, NDP Bookscan said that over the same period, printed books still outsold e-books by a nearly four-to-one margin.
Between 2010 and 2019, NDP concluded that about 6.5 billion printed copies were sold, compared to 1.8 billion e-books. (vel/wng)
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