Hey! It’s 2010! And what better way to spend 2010 than to look back all the way to 1995, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and Amazon was on the Internet with a scary-looking interface. Relive the nostalgia with Amazon’s new bestsellers archive, available at http://www.amazon.com/bestsellers/2009/books/.
Actually that link will take you to Amazon’s bestselling books for 2009. (Dan Brown was #1 in that category. I didn’t read any books on this list! I feel culturally stunted.) If you look at the top of the list you’ll see that there are dropdown menus that allow you to get other lists of bestsellers by year, month, and week. (You can also get bestsellers for the entire year.) The dropdown list goes back to 1995.
Nor is it limited to paper books. You can also get archived bestseller lists for Kindle books (going back to 2007), MP3 songs (also 2007), and “Movies & TV” (I don’t know why Amazon didn’t just call this DVDs, I guess leaving room for the other formats. It goes back to 1998 and even the first list of the 1998 list is all DVDs.) You can browse lists for music (back to 1998), video (this is VHS, and it goes back to 1998. What’s interesting is that there’s also a list for 2009 — and every item on the first page is used!), video games (back to 1999) and video on demand (back to 2006).
The listings as you might imagine look like Amazon listings, with the price, used availability, and information on customer reviews and discussions. I found the video listings particularly fascinating because it’s basically a bestseller list for used items, but all of the lists were interesting. If ever I needed evidence that I am completely out of touch with popular culture, it’s all right here…