What's a bestseller list with no Harry?
Toronto Star May 06, 2008
For the first time in nearly a decade, the New York Times bestseller lists will be without a title featuring J.K. Rowling's hugely popular young wizard. And the character is finally disappearing from the Canadian rankings as well.
This Sunday's New York Times will be Potter-less for the first time since Dec. 27, 1998, when Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (as series opener Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was titled in the U.S.) made its debut on the paper's bestseller list. The streak has ended with the dropping of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, published last July.
Over the years, the Potter books became such prominent mainstays on the New York Times bestseller lists that the paper kept creating new categories to accommodate the phenomenon, first introducing a children's list in 2000 and then, four years later, breaking the children's list into sub-categories, including a separate ranking of series books.
"Most publishers and booksellers welcomed the change, because the Potter phenomenon was keeping new titles off the fiction list," wrote senior editor Dwight Garner on the paper's book blog. "Some observers, though, felt Rowling was unfairly evicted – after all, they pointed out, adults read her books."
In Canada, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows last made it onto Quill & Quire's monthly children's list in March.
"It's relative," said Quill & Quire editor Derek Weiler. "If Harry Potter is petering out as a reading phenomenon, it's petering out from being the biggest reading phenomenon of the last 10 years. I'm sure the books are still selling in healthy numbers."