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World Book Day 2022: What have been the best-selling books in the last year?

The annual celebration of books and reading takes place on 23 April. Which books are worth picking up to mark the event?

What were the best-selling books of last year?

World Book Day is an annual event organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in conjunction with the literary industry.

Every year on 23 April World Book Day aims to promote books and reading, offering a variety of activities, events and initiatives designed to encourage more people to read. The celebration dates back to 1995 and UNESCO decided that the 23 April, the birthdate of William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, was an appropriate date for the event.

Since 2001 a World Book Capital has been awarded in recognition for promoting books and fostering reading. The chosen city will have an extra focus on activities and events. This year’s World Book Capital is Guadalajara, Mexico.

Which were the most-read books of 2021?

World Book Day is the perfect opportunity to get back into the routine for those who may not read regularly. For this, it’s often worth looking at the bestsellers list to see if anything catches your eye. Each year Publishers Weekly draws up a list of the most-sold books in the United States.

In 2021 three of the top four most-sold books in the US were actually children’s books, with Diary of a Wimpy Kid creator Dav Pilkey selling more than 2.5 million copies in a single year.

Here’s the top twenty best-selling books of 2021:

1. Dav Pilkey, Mothering Heights (1,295,470 copies sold)

2. Mark R. Levin, American Marxism (1,025,638 copies sold)

3. Jeff Kinney, Big Shot (985,308 copies sold)

4. Charlie Macksey, The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse (954,434 copies sold)

5. James Clear, Atomic Habits (894,163 copies sold)

6. Colleen Hoover, It Ends With Us (768,693 copies sold)

7. Eric Carle, The Very Hungry Caterpillar (731,075 copies sold)

8. Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! (727,341 copies sold)

9. Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements (713,696 copies sold)

10. Kristen Hannah, The Four Winds (711,705 copies sold)

11. Adam Silvera, They Both Die at the End (684,982 copies sold)

12. Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles (652,906 copies sold)

13. Matt Haig, The Midnight Library (652,763 copies sold)

14. Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing (625,599 copies sold)

15. Dav Pilkey, Cat Kid Comic Club (617,821 copies sold)

16. Hepworth/Warnes, I Love You to the Moon and Back (608,498 copies sold)

17. Bessel van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score (607,062 copies sold)

18. Jeff Kinney, Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Spooky Stories (577,515 copies sold)

19. Taylor Jenkins Reid, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (562,002 copies sold)

20. Dav Plikey, Grime and Punishment (Dog Man #9) (557,918 copies sold)