Barnes and Noble has stated in their Buzz Newsletter that the sales of books related to anxiety are up more than 26% through this past June from a year ago because “we may be living in an anxious nation.”
The books that made the list show customers gravitating toward workbooks and toolkits with how to deal with anxiety, a trend Senior Director of Merchandising Liz Harwell sees continuing through the year. “The Anxiety category has really popped in the last year as book buyers look for practical guides and strategies on how to manage anxiety.”
Top-selling titles, based on the bookseller’s sales data, include “The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook” by Edmund Bourne, “The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points” by Alice Boyes, and “The Anxiety and Worry Workbook: The Cognitive Behavioral Solution” by David Clark and Aaron Beck.
There are still some customers looking for happiness, though. Sales of books related to “finding happiness” climbed a whopping 83% from a year ago, Barnes & Noble said. Tennessee was the state with the biggest increase in interest in this particular category of merchandise.
Why are books that have to do with anxiety soaring? It could be because we are completely inundated with news 24/7, presented in a way that seems like the world is going to come crashing down any minute. Reading about an upcoming trade war or mass shootings invoke a sense of fear in you which triggers a reaction and creates a sense of fear in your subconscious which makes you insecure.
I think the most obvious answer is that the Barnes and Noble management team are buying all the titles that have to do with anxiety, due to their companies dire financial straits. Barnes & Noble also just last month fired its CEO, Demos Parneros, for violating company policies. The retailer has yet to name a replacement and hasn’t specified exactly which policies were violated.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.