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Bookshops boosted by bumper festive sales

18th December 2012

Bookshops are expecting this week to be one of the busiest of the year, with sales spiking as shoppers buy their final gifts for friends and family.

The latest figures from Nielsen Bookscan indicate there was a 20 per cent rise in book sales in the seven days to December 8th and this is expected to be repeated this week, with a combination of new and familiar faces leading the way.

Once again, Jamie Oliver is expected to top the festive sales charts, with his latest cookbook 15-Minute Meals - itself a follow-up to 2011 Christmas number one 30-Minute Meals – cooking up a sales storm.

Last week, it overtook J. K. Rowling's The Casual Vacancy as the bestselling hardback book of the year and the Harry Potter author seems unlikely to work her magic on the charts and make up the difference in the coming days.

Another bestseller is Hilary Mantel's Bring up the Bodies, which scooped the Man Booker Prize in October. A sequel to the author's acclaimed Wolf Hall, which also won the Booker Prize, in 2009, Bring Up the Bodies has benefitted from a sales surge after claiming one of the most prestigious literary awards in the world.

E. L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon continues to be popular with readers, with more than 12 million copies of the first book in the trilogy and its two sequels - Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed - being sold and more expected this week.

However, a late sprint for the line is being made by Bradley Wiggins, whose autobiography My Time has experienced a spike in popularity after the Olympic gold medallist and Tour de France winner scooped the 2012 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award last weekend.

Along with biographies of fellow cyclists Mark Cavendish and Victoria Pendleton and heptathlete and Sports Personality of the Year runner-up Jessica Ennis, this year's festive non-fiction chart has taken on a decidedly Olympic theme, with the gold medal winner set to be unveiled on Sunday.

© W&G Foyle Ltd
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