Blair holds on to top spot, in another strong week for booksellers

Blair holds on to top spot, in another strong week for booksellers

<p>Tony Blair&rsquo;s memoir sold a further 57,759 copies in its first full week, meaning the former prime minister has captured the top spot for a second-week running. Additionally, the airport edition of the memoir has cracked the Top 20 Paperback Non-Fiction charts, shifting a further 5,378 copies.</p><p>But <em>A Journey&#39;s</em> sales feat was not enough to overtake David Beckham&#39;s <em>My Side</em> as the fastest selling autobiography since records began: in 2003, after a two day sale total of 86,126,<em> </em>Beckham&#39;s book shifted 103,508 copies in its first full week. </p><p>The Blair effect has continued to help wider bookshop sales with&nbsp; the trade enjoying its best week for 12 months--for a second consecutive week. According to Nielsen BookScan, &pound;31.5m was spent at retailers last week. That is up 0.5% from the previous week which was the strongest week on week growth in 12 months, and is 6.3% up on the same week in 2009.</p><p>The book that probably generated the most coverage after Blair this past week or so is the highest new entry to the Nielsen BookScan Top 5,000. Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow&rsquo;s contention in <em>The Grand Design</em> (Bantam) that God, and philosophy, are unnecessary got gums flapping among the punditocracy, helping the book debut at number 28.</p><p>After the previous week where we saw 17 new or re-entries into the top 50, including 12 debuts, Hawking and Mlodinow&rsquo;s title is the sole debutant, and only four other titles are new to this week&rsquo; Top 50.</p><p>Rosamund Lupton&rsquo;s <em>Sister </em>(Piatkus), the featured book in the second week of the W H Smith &ldquo;exclusive&rdquo; Richard &amp; Judy Book Club, hops up nine spots to crack the top 10 at ninth place, while the first week&rsquo;s book, Jo Nesbo&rsquo;s <em>The Snowman</em>, is just two spots behind. The R&amp;J/WHS Book Club is undoubtedly helped by other retailers, notably Waterstone&rsquo;s, rather cheekily promoting it&mdash;the titles at Waterstones.com are selling at less than half price, while at WHS there is a BOGOF.</p>