Dan Brown and Stieg Larsson top Oxfam second hand book chart

Posted by Sophie Bowell

2nd Jul 2012

Bestselling author Dan Brown has topped Oxfam's 'most donated' list for the fourth year in a row. Thriller and crime writers dominate the annual list from the charity's secondhand shops, with Ian Rankin at number two and James Patterson, famous for his series about American psychologist Alex Cross, third.

Meanwhile, the annual survey found cult author Stieg Larsson, who penned the Millennium series, at the top of its bestseller chart for the second year in a row. Larsson is followed by J.K. Rowling, up from sixth place last year, and Norwegian author Jo Nesbo.

The most donated authors to Oxfam shops are (with last year's position in brackets):

1. Dan Brown (1)

2. Ian Rankin (2)

3. James Patterson (8)

=4. Alexander McCall Smith (5)

=4. John Grisham (New entry)

Oxfam's most sold authors are (with last year's position in brackets):

1. Stieg Larsson (1)

2. J.K. Rowling (6)

3. Jo Nesbo (New entry)

4. Lee Child (New entry)

5. Terry Pratchett (4)

Although the survey illustrates the ongoing popularity of the best-known authors, it found that the most donated and sold genre overall is non-fiction. Oxfam shops stock a huge range of books across all genres and are one of the few places where you can find rare and collectable books. The charity recently sold a first edition of Samuel Beckett's 1938 novel Murphy at auction for a massive £12,000.

The survey of Oxfam's network of shops and bookshops was conducted to celebrate the launch of the charity's annual literary festival Bookfest (2-15 July 2012).

Andrew Horton, Oxfam's Director of Trading, said:

"Oxfam loves books and book sales have been helping Oxfam in its fight against poverty for more than fifty years. Oxfam shops are the perfect place to pick up anything from best-selling novels through to rare first editions. Every single book, whether it is donated or bought, helps to support Oxfam's vital work. Bookfest is a great opportunity to celebrate this and we really hope that the public will get involved by coming along to their local Oxfam shop or bookshop to enjoy the brilliant range of events and promotions taking place during the fortnight."

Bookfest, now in its fourth year, celebrates the central role books play in people's lives, and the impact that buying a book from Oxfam can have on the lives of people living in poverty around the world. Over the course of the fortnight, a whole host of book related events will take place in Oxfam shops across the UK, featuring a range of activities for the whole family.

Oxfam's Bookfest activities include:

  • Ex-English teacher turned spoken word poet/rapper Mark Grist and his rap partner MC Mixy, known together as Dead Poets, have written a piece especially for Oxfam's Bookfest called 'More than a Book'
  • Students from RADA (The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) and LAMDA (The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) read extracts from their favourite novels on London Underground

Blog post written by Sophie Bowell

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