Business and money top best-sellers in e-book list

E-BOOKS AND PAPERBACKS::E-book seller Kobo said self-help books grew in popularity this year, and Eslite said Kevin Tsai’s new book was its No. 1 best seller

By Dennis Xie  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Sun, Dec 08, 2019 - Page 2

Books about business and money occupied more than half of the top 100 best-selling e-books in Taiwan, a list published on Tuesday by the Canadian e-book seller Kobo showed.

Finance and business books accounted for 52 spots on the best-seller list, while literature and humanities took up 21 and 16 of the places respectively, said Kobo, which entered the Taiwan e-book market four years ago and has more than 300,000 registered members on its service.

Topping the list is Atomic Habits by James Clear, which received widespread attention, followed by Factfulness, which was last year’s No. 1 best seller and is about why most people are wrong about the state of the world.

The only humanities book to crack the top 10 is 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Israeli author Yuval Noah Harari, a collection of essays addressing technological, political and social issues facing the modern world.

Books about building or changing habits, increasing efficiency and maintaining a work-life balance have become popular in recent years, especially amid the high prevalence of mobile phone use, Kobo said.

Books appearing on the list for the third consecutive year include Procrastination, The Power of Habit, The 80/20 Principle and My Morning Routine, all of which address learning how to better manage time and work in a more systematic way to get on top of life, it added.

Separately, a report released on Wednesday by Eslite Bookstore said that a self-help book by Taiwanese TV host Kevin Tsai (蔡康永) topped its best-seller list for the year.

Kevin Tsai’s EQ Lessons: Live Once for Yourself was the best-selling book in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China, the report said.

Tsai, a Taiwanese celebrity best known for hosting the show Here Comes Kangxi (康熙來了), said he wrote the book to help people understand and make peace with their emotions.

Eslite’s report, which tracked sales from November last year through last month, also featured an encyclopedia of Pokemon and Becoming, the memoir of former US first lady Michelle Obama.

Former minister of culture Lung Ying-tai (龍應台), known for her essays and social commentary, was the only author on the best-selling authors list in all three regions, the report said.

In addition to the best-seller lists, the report also analyzed reading trends over the past year.

The bookstore saw a 150 percent increase in sales of books that criticize increasing wealth inequality in developed nations, including Hired by James Bloodworth, about low-wage jobs in Britain, and Squeezed by Alissa Quart, about how US families struggle to survive financially, the report said.

National Tsing Hua University professor Chen Su-yen (陳素燕), said in the report that books under the humanities category, which includes psychology, history, religion and philosophy, would replace literature as the category with the highest penetration rate among Taiwanese readers in 2025, based on the buying habits of the more than 2 million Eslite Bookstore members over the past eight years.

The popularity of the Internet would lead to an increase in sales of visual books, such as comic books and illustration books, as well as cause a decrease in the sale of books providing medical or travel information, Chen said.