New Delhi (including the NCR region) tops the list of the most well-read cities in India; followed by Bengaluru, Mumbai and Hyderabad at second, third and fourth positions, respectively. This was revealed by Amazon.in’s reading trends report of 2014. The report, based on the orders received on the Amazon.in books store reflects the reading habits of people across age groups and their preference in terms of different genres and authors.
According to the findings of the report, Indian writing was the top-selling genre across all Indian cities, followed by children and young adult fiction, literary fiction and history and politics. Colaba Conspiracy by Surendra Mohan Pathak, in Hindi, was voted as the most popular book in the yearend Reader’s Poll on Amazon.in while Chetan Bhagat’s Half Girlfriend was the highest selling book of the year 2014.
Talking about the reading preferences of school and college students (starting from the age group of 13),Samir Kumar, director category management, Amazon India says, “There is a decided preference for fiction. Blood of Olympus was among the top 10 bestsellers across the board. Overall, Fault in Our Stars has been the number 1 bestseller in this segment. John Green is the top favourite author with almost all his books coming up in bestseller list.”
In terms of sub-categories, maximum traction was seen in the fantasy genre like Percy Jackson books, Hunger Games series, Harry Potter series, Divergent series, Mortal Instruments and Vampire Diaries. “We also see a lot of traction for old classics like Old Man and the Sea, Emma, Pride and Prejudice, To Kill a Mockingbird, Catcher in the Rye (though these are not limited to young adult segments),” he added.
In 2014, Amazon.in launched three regional language book stores — Hindi, Tamil and Kannada, which have found a huge audience, especially in non-metro cities where regional language books featured in the top ten best sellers list. The best example is the translated versions of Amish Tripathi’s ‘Shiva Trilogy’ that continues to be a bestseller in Hindi, Tamil, Marathi as well as Kannada. The Secret, in its Tamil translation, topped language books list in sales with over 1425 units.
Talking about the survey methodology, Kumar concludes, “Basis the sales data, reviews and feedback from customers, we had shortlisted 10 books in each genre and had asked people to vote for their favourite book among the 10 in that genre. This happened online on our Books store page. The voting took place from December 26, 2014 until January 05, 2015. We received more than 25,000 votes during this period.”