Barnes & Noble: U.S. Readers More Interested in Mental Health Books Than Books on Diet, Exercise

According to new data released by bookstore chain Barnes & Noble, readers across the U.S. are increasingly more interested in the mental health genre than books about diet and exercise.

The data, which was collected between Dec. 16 and Jan. 5 from its 630 retail stores and website, shows that readers’ New Year’s resolutions are more focused on reducing stress and increasing self-confidence and less on eating better and losing weight, a previously popular trend, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“Books related to self-improvement are always in high demand around the new year, but in a recent shift, books focused on mental well-being are far outpacing titles addressing exercise and dieting,” said Liz Harwell, Barnes & Noble’s senior director of merchandising for trade books. “When it comes to preparing for New Year’s resolutions and goals, the data shows that across the chain more people are buying books about mental and emotional well-being as opposed to what were previously the more popular areas of exercise and dieting.”

The bookstore’s most popular mental health-focused book was The Subtle Art of Not Giving a …: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life, a 2016 self-help book written by author Mark Manson, the data found. The self-help book has sold over 3 million copies since it was published.

The second most popular book surrounding mental health was You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero, followed by 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by controversial Canadian author Jordan Peterson.

The popularity of those books isn’t only apparent to Barnes & Nobles, however. As of early January, Amazon’s top 20 bestsellers list in all categories included the books by Peterson, Manson and Sincero, Los Angeles Times reported.

Though the new trend is mental health books, physical health and healthy eating books still remained popular with Barnes & Nobles readers.

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