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The Bestselling Book on Amazon Every Year Since 1995

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One for the Books

Amazon has come a long way since 1994, when Jeff Bezos began hawking books online from his garage. We took a deep dive into Amazon's bestseller lists to see what was popular with buyers every year since Amazon's founding — both the No. 1 book in terms of sales plus a second notable title from that year's ranking. Some of the books have become modern-day classics; others reflect the trends of their time and have faded from memory. Got any of them on your bookshelf (or know of someone who needs a copy this holiday season)?

Related: Clever and Creative Gifts for Book Lovers

How to Set Up and Maintain a World Wide Web Site: The Guide for Information Providers
Amazon

1995

“How to Set Up and Maintain a World Wide Web Site: The Guide for Information Providers”
By Lincoln D. Stein 
Price: $6 and up
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The internet was still shiny and new to most people back in 1995 (if they even had internet access) and ecommerce was in its infancy. So it's no wonder a lot of readers — especially the ones who had enough tech savvy to know how to buy books online — might be interested in learning how to build a website with this book.

Also popular that year: "The Road Ahead" by Bill Gates

Related: The 50 Greatest American Inventions of the Past 50 Years

Creating Killer Web Sites
Amazon

1996

“Creating Killer Web Sites: The Art of Third-Generation Site Design”
By David Siegel
Price:$19
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By the mid '90s, it was pretty obvious that this web thing was here to stay — and that people wanted to see more than just pages and pages of text. This book was one of the first to show how to design a website just as you would a magazine or newspaper and make it not just readable but engaging and entertaining.

Also popular that year: "The Dilbert Principle" by Scott Adams

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Cold Mountain
Amazon
A Man in Full
Amazon
Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban
Amazon
Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire
Amazon

2000

“Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire”
By J.K. Rowling
Price: $15
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Book four in the Harry Potter series was just as popular with Amazon shoppers as the previous volume was in 1999. Readers thrilled to the action of the Quidditch World Cup and Triwizard Tournament, following Harry's adventures as he dodged You-Know-Who.

Also popular that year: "Rich Dad Poor Dad" by Robert T. Kiyosaki

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Who Moved My Cheese?
Amazon
Good to Great
Amazon

2002

“Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't”
By Jeff Collins
Price: $14 
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At the time, this study of 11 companies and what made them successful was on just about every business manager's bookshelf

https://blog.cheapism.com/shark-tank-business-tips/

. Two decades later, you may be surprised to see which of Collins' "good-to-great" companies still exist.

Also popular that year: "The Nanny Diaries: A Novel by Emma McLaughlin

Related: The Top Items Our Readers Have Bought on Amazon So Far This Year

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Amazon
The Da Vinci Code
Amazon
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Amazon

2005

“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”
By J.K. Rowling
Price: $16
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Book six in the Potter universe seized the top spot on Amazon's list in 2005, making it hard to recall that Rowling's tale had been rejected initially by so many publishers. "The DaVinci Code" didn't lose all of its magic; it was No. 15 in sales.

Also popular that year: "1776" by David McCullough


Good to Great
Amazon

2006

“Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't”
By Jeff Collins
Price: $14
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Business was booming, so no surprise a business-oriented text like this would be back on top four years after winning its first status as a bestseller. Even more impressive: Collins also held the No. 3 spot on Amazon's bestseller list with a related book, "Good to Great and the Social Sectors: Why Business Thinking is Not the Answer."

Also popular that year: "The Audacity of Hope" by Barack Obama

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Amazon

2007

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”
By J.K. Rowling
Price: $16
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It seemed like everyone had a copy of this book after it hit bookstores in 2007. The final installment of the Harry Potter series went out with a bang as the year's top seller, setting a world record for most copies sold within 24 hours of release.

Also popular that year: "The Dangerous Book for Boys" by Conn Iggulden

A New Earth
Amazon
The Lost Symbol
Amazon

2009

“The Lost Symbol”
By Dan Brown
Price: $20
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Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon returns in Dan Brown's follow-up to his smash novel "The DaVinci Code." This time the intrigue takes place in Washington, D.C., where nothing fishy ever transpires (yeah, right).

Also popular that year: "Going Rogue: An American Life" by Sarah Palin

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
Amazon
Steve Jobs
Amazon

2011

“Steve Jobs”
By Walter Isaacson
Price: $18
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This biography of Apple's founder — released just days after Jobs' death from cancer — cemented his legacy as a technology icon.

Also popular that year: "Go the F**k to Sleep" by Adam Mansbach

Fifty Shades of Grey
Amazon
StrengthsFinder 2.0
Amazon
StrengthsFinder 2.0
Amazon
First 100 Words
Amazon
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Amazon

2016

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2”
By J.K. Rowling
Price: $16
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The eighth installment of the Harry Potter series — which follows Harry and his Hogwarts friends as adults with children of their own — began life as a short story that morphed into a big-budget play in London's West End in 2016 and arrived on Broadway two years later.

Also popular that year: "When Breath Becomes Air" by Paul Kalanithi

Wonder
Amazon
Becoming
Amazon

2018

“Becoming”
By Michelle Obama
Price: $12
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The former first lady's autobiography was an instant bestseller when it was released in mid-November and took just 15 days to sell more copies than any other book in 2018. Little surprise it was Amazon's top seller, too.

Also popular that year: "Fear: Trump in the White House" by Bob Woodward

Where the Crawdads Sing
Amazon
Too Much and Never Enough
Amazon

2020 (So Far)

“Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man”
By Mary L. Trump, Ph.D
Price: $12
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This election year has been dominated by books on politics and race, but this deep-insider's book about Donald Trump is ahead of them all. Other books in Amazon's top 10 include "White Fragility" by Robin DiAngelo and "The Room Where it Happened" by John Bolton.

Also Popular This Year: "How to Be an Antiracist" by Ibram X. Kendi

Related: Can't Get It on Amazon? Where to Shop Instead