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Adult New York Times Best Seller Listings

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The first New York Times best seller list was originally published on October 12, 1931. It was made up of five fiction and four non-fiction books for New York City only. In November 1931, the list included eight separate cities and was later expanded to fourteen cities in the 1940s. Where the New York Times published lists for multiple cities, our site uses New York City only.

The first national list was published on September 9, 1945 in The New York Times Book Review and was compiled according to reports from leading booksellers in 22 cities. This methodology has remained essentially the same to this day, although the exact process is a trade secret. Since early lists were published on Mondays with Sunday publication beginning on November 28, 1943, you will see the dates switch from Saturdays to Sundays at that point in time.

The best seller lists for each date as well as other compilations of the lists which appear on the Hawes Publications website have been prepared from actual pdf copies of pages from the New York Times. To see lists for a specific date, begin by clicking on the desired year below.

We have also included a complete list of all the books that have ever been Number One since the inception of the list for both fiction and non-fiction. Please note this website only includes hardcover fiction and hardcover non-fiction.

And finally - for those of you who have been patiently waiting for it - all of the lists are now on the website back to October 12, 1931. Check it out!

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Number One Best Sellers List

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