As a denizen of a small town with no major bookstore, I usually do my shopping online, through Amazon. I know that there have been criticisms of this company in the past, some of them serious, but I’ve tried to ignore those for the sake of books and free shipping. But this is just laughable.
I had a bit of money to burn today, so I logged on and started loading up my cart. I went to check out, and hey, add $3.42 to your order to get free shipping. Alright. So I click around my recommendations for a while, and nothing stands out. Then I go straight to the “bestseller/most popular” list for Teen Sci-fi and Fantasy. The first few goes as follows, nothing surprising: a Percy Jackson book, Percy Jackson, Percy Jackson, Percy Jackson, Twilight book, Jackson, Twilight, Jackson, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
Now, I hated that book, and I know that most teens wouldn’t make the effort to read classics for the sake of it, so how does 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea make #9 on a teen bestseller list? But okay, maybe Jules Verne is suddenly popular for some reason. But as I keep going, I can’t help but notice that some things are inexplicably well-liked, according to Amazon.
Out of 16,107 results,
Pyle’s The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood is #15.
Orwell’s 1984 is #24.
Orwell’s Animal Farm is #64.
Fahrenheit 451 hits the charts at #92, one step above Twilight: The Complete Illustrated Movie Companion (in what universe?).
And, my personal favorite, #135 (out of over sixteen thousand, mind you)… One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (I Can Read It All By Myself). Not only is this apparently considered teen fantasy, it’s listed as being by both Dr. Seuss and Theodor Seuss Geisel, who I’m fairly sure are the same person.
On the other hand, that nice little copy of One Fish Two Fish is only $4.95, so if I pick it up, I’m not only indulging in quality YA literature, but I’m almost exactly at the amount I needed for free shipping.