5 Surprising Things About Thriftbooks' Most Popular Books by State

Thriftbooks.com Bestselling Books by State
Thriftbooks.com Bestselling Books by State. Thriftbooks.com

Over at Thriftbooks, they've posted a fascinating infographic showing the most popular books in each state, based on their sales. It's one thing to sort of know, intellectually, that the country is vast and there are significant differences, culturally, between regions and even states, but a graphic like this brings the point home.

Naturally, if it involves books and the word "bestseller" we're all over it, so we've already spent a lot of time analyzing this graphic in the hopes of having something smart to say about it.

Whether or not what we have to say is smart will be up to you, of course, but we certainly had a few eye-opening moments. Here are five such eye-openers, facts gleaned from Thriftbooks' bestsellers that surprised us for one reason or another.

Southern Charm 

While some states are buying some seriously sketchy books in droves, the South maintains a dignified literary trend that we certainly admire. Consider the fact that while these states are often caricatured in less-than-complimentary ways, the short list of absolute stone-cold classic novels that are bestsellers in the region is remarkable:

That's impressive reading, especially when you consider that New Hampshire folks are apparently buying a book called Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results more than any other book.

That's kind of disturbing.

Three States Need Help

The populations of three states are apparently in need of an intervention, based on the books they're buying more than any other:

  • Michigan:
  • Oregon:
  • Wisconsin:

We won't speculate on why these three states apparently inspire substance abuse and a need for resources for people suffering from it.

But it's remarkable that there are three states in the country that seem to have the problem.

Alaska's Boom, Florida's Surprising Book

Based entirely on the fact that What to Expect When You're Expecting is the best-selling book in Alaska, we can confidently predict a population boom in that state any day now, which will undoubtedly have immense impact on the culture and identity of this country, because a great many of those people will not remain in Alaska once they're old enough to leave.

On the flip side, who in the world would have guessed that Florida — a state known more for its colorful FARK-friendly headlines than intellectual prowess— would sport The Last Lecture as its #1 book?

We Guess North Dakota is Gryffindor

If we'd been asked to bet, we would have bet hard on a Harry Potter book being #1 in more than one state, yet North Dakota is the only state in the country where people are buying Potter books — and it's not even the first one. Strange. Maybe North Dakota has been stuck in some sort of time bubble and is just getting into Harry Potter now? Wait until Fifty Shades of Grey hits!

The Normal Christian Life

We're just as surprised to see that Arkansas — Arkansas! — loves them some Isaac Asimov in the form of I, Robot as we were unsurprised to discover that the best-selling book in Oklahoma is The Normal Christian Life.

The latter fact does make us wonder what, exactly, is an abnormal Christian life. That would undoubtedly be a much more interesting book.

We could go on. Why is Connecticut the only group of people left in the world who think The Secret is worth reading? Why do the teenagers in Iowa think they need to be more effective? Who would have thought that the biggest Rush Limbaugh fans in the country lived in Rhode Island? Mysteries upon mysteries, friends.