Since the list began in 1942 (I could at least find that out through the magic of Google), what books have spent the most time on the list? I know several of the Harry Potter books have, as well as The Da Vinci Code, but since 1942, what books have had the longest run on the list?
Do you mean longest continuous run?
If not, the scientology folks claim that Dianetics has been on the list a record number of 95 times since the 1950s (can’t find a non scientology cite).
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was a The New York Times bestseller for 216 weeks following its debut.
Yes. Sorry I didn’t make my question clear enough.
Man, this topic really confounds my google-fu. I was gonna suggest Valley of the Dolls as a contendor but I can’t find a source for how long it was on the list or even how long it was at #1.
Even if it’s not the longest-lived on the list, it’s still notable for being a book that landed on the list in no small part because the author went to many of the bookstores used to determine the list and bought copies with her own money to pump its spot.
You do know that scientologists regularly go out and buy numerous copies of that book to boost sales, don’t you? The used book stores in Hollywood are packed with that book.
John Bear’s book, The #1 New York Times Best Seller, appeared in 1992, so not only is it out of date, but it only covers the fiction and nonfiction hardcover lists, not the paperback lists, the advice list, the children’s list or any of the other variations that the Times is now putting out. The longest stays seem to be on the Advice, How-To, and Miscellaneous list so those aren’t in here.
M. Scott Peck may have that record, though:
They may not have been continuous, though.
To get back to basics, Bear gives Shel Silverstein’s A Light in the Attic as the only book which ever hit #1 to spend four years or more on the list. At 3-4 years, there are only Peace of Mind by Joshua Liebman, The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale, and The Robe by Lloyd Douglas.
Neither Dianetics nor L. Ron Hubbard appear in that book, nor does Dianetics appear in Alice Payne Hackett’s 70 Years of Best Sellers 1895-1965 which covers the top ten fiction and nonfiction books of each year.
Very interesting - much obliged!
So you’re telling me the Cult of Scientology lies? How will I go on!