Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 2:10 pm
What is the point of the best-seller list? Depends who you are. If you're a reader, it's a guide to what's popular — what's new, what your neighbors are buying, and what you might like to read next. If you're a publisher, it's a source of feedback and a sales tool: It tells you how your books compete, and gives you triumphs to crow about on paperback covers.
Amanda Katz is the deputy editor of the Ideas section of the Boston Globe. She has written about books for the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian, among other publications. Previously, she was an editor of fiction and nonfiction at Bloomsbury USA, in New York. She holds an MFA in poetry from Brown University and has translated a number of books from French.