Books in the United States


As of 2018, several firms in the United States rank among the world's biggest publishers of books in terms of revenue: Cengage Learning, HarperCollins, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill Education, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, and Wiley.[1][nb 1]


In 1640 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Stephen Daye produced the first book printed in British North America, the Bay Psalm Book.[4]

The American Library Association formed in 1876, and the Bibliographical Society of America in 1904. The national Center for the Book began in 1977.



Popular books in the 19th century included Sheldon's In His Steps (1896). 20th century bestsellers included Mitchell's Gone with the Wind (1936), Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People (1937), Spock’s Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care (1946), Harris’ I'm OK – You're OK (1969), Woodward and Bernstein's All the President's Men (1974). Recent bestsellers have included Warren’s Purpose-Driven Life (2002) and Brown's Da Vinci Code (2003).[5]

The influential "New York Times Best Seller list" first appeared in 1931. The online bookseller began business in July 1995, based in the state of Washington.[6][7]




Some notable collections of books of the United States include:


The nonprofit Internet Archive began scanning books in 2004, in the same year that Google Inc. launched Google Book Search. In 2005, Google began scanning pages of volumes in several large research libraries in the US, as part of its new Google Books Library Project. The Open Content Alliance formed in 2005.



Published in 19th centuryEdit

  • Joseph Sabin; Wilberforce Eames; R. W. G. Vail, eds. (1868–1936). Bibliotheca Americana: a Dictionary of Books relating to America, from its Discovery to the Present Time. New York. OCLC 13972268.  
  • Publishers Weekly, ISSN 0000-0019 1872-
  • G.W. Porter; G.K. Fortescue, eds. (1889). "Bibliographies of Countries: United States of America". List of Bibliographical Works in the Reading Room of the British Museum (2nd ed.). London. OCLC 3816244 – via Internet Archive.
  • The New York Times Book Review, ISSN 0028-7806 1896-

Published in 20th centuryEdit

  • Charles Evans (1903–1959), American Bibliography
  • Booklist, American Library Association, ISSN 0006-7385 1905- . (Book reviews)
  • Alice Bertha Kroeger; Isadore Gilbert Mudge (1917). "Bibliography: National and Trade: American". Guide to the Study and Use of Reference Books (3rd ed.). American Library Association.
  • Henry Walcott Boynton (1932). Annals of American Bookselling, 1638–1850. J. Wiley & Sons – via HathiTrust.  
  • Lawrence C. Wroth (1938), The Colonial Printer (2nd ed.), Portland, Maine: Southworth-Anthoensen Press – via Internet Archive  
  • Bureau of the Census, Industry Division (1947), Book Publishing Industry in the United States: 1945, Facts for Industry, OCLC 67889130  
  • Hellmut Lehmann-Haupt [de] (1951). The book in America: a history of the making and selling of books in the United States (2nd ed.). Bowker.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)  
  • Cecil J. McHale (1957), Guide to General Book Publishers in the United States (4th ed.), Ann Arbor, MI  
  • New York Review of Books, ISSN 0028-7504 1963-
  • Charles A. Madison (1966). Book Publishing in America. McGraw-Hill. OCLC 729685674.
  • John Tebbel [de] (1972–1981). History of Book Publishing in the United States. Bowker. ISBN 0-8352-0489-8.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Allen Kent; et al., eds. (1978). "Printers and Printing: the United States". Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science. Vol. 23. Marcel Dekker. ISBN 978-0-8247-2023-0.
  • U.S. Book Publishing Yearbook and Directory, ISSN 0193-6417 1979-
  • Michael Hackenberg, ed. (1987), Getting the Books Out: Papers of the Chicago Conference on the Book in 19th-century America, Washington DC: Center for the Book.   Chapters include:
    • "Institutional Book Collecting in the Old Northwest, 1876-1900" by Terry Belanger
    • "Copyright and Books in Nineteenth-century America" by Alice D. Schreyer
    • "Dissemination of Popular Books in the Midwest and Far West during the Nineteenth-century" by Madeleine B. Stern
    • "Getting the Books Out: trade sales, parcel sales, and book fairs in the nineteenth-century United States" by Michael Winship
  • Margaret A. Blanchard, ed. (2013) [1998]. History of the Mass Media in the United States: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-91749-4. (Includes several articles about books)
  • André Schiffrin (2000). The Business of Books: How International Conglomerates Took Over Publishing and Changed the Way We Read. Verso. ISBN 978-1-85984-763-3.
  • History of the Book in America, University of North Carolina Press, 2000–2010

Published in 21st centuryEdit

  • Paul S. Boyer, ed. (2001). "Printing and Publishing". Oxford Companion to United States History. Oxford University Press. p. 620. ISBN 978-0-19-508209-8.
  • "Books That Shaped America". Exhibitions. Washington DC: Library of Congress. 2012.
  • Scott E. Casper; Joan Shelley Rubin (2013). "America". In Michael F. Suarez; H. R. Woudhuysen (eds.). The Book: A Global History. Oxford University Press. pp. 682+. ISBN 978-0-19-967941-6.
  • "How Independent Bookstores Have Thrived in Spite of", Working Knowledge, Harvard Business School, 20 November 2017, OCLC 55998168
  • "Meet the YouTube Stars Turning Viewers Into Readers", New York Times, July 31, 2018. (Discusses BookTube and Booksplosion book club)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Of these, several also topped the list in 2016 and 2017.[2][3]


  1. ^ "The World's 54 Largest Publishers, 2018", Publishers Weekly, US, vol. 265, no. 38, 14 September 2018
  2. ^ "World's 52 Largest Book Publishers, 2016", Publishers Weekly, US, 26 August 2016
  3. ^ "World's 54 Largest Publishers, 2017", Publishers Weekly, US, 25 August 2017
  4. ^ Boyer 2001.
  5. ^ "Best Seller",, retrieved November 30, 2017
  6. ^ "The Next Big Thing: A Bookstore?",, December 9, 1996
  7. ^ "". Archived from the original on 1999-08-28. Retrieved 2018-11-09 – via Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ "Book Club of California". Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  9. ^ "The Caxton Club". Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  10. ^ "Florida Bibliophile Society". Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  11. ^ "The Grolier Club". Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  12. ^ "The Ticknor Society". Retrieved March 11, 2017.

External linksEdit

  • Simon J. Bronner (ed.), "Book Clubs", Encyclopedia of American Studies, Johns Hopkins University Press, OCLC 213273863   + "Print Culture"
  • Rare Book School (in Virginia) bibliographies: 
    • History of the Book in America: A Survey from Colonial to Modern
    • History of the Book in America, c.1700–1830
    • American Book in the Industrial Era, 1820–1940
  • BibSite – via Bibliographical Society of America.   (Includes articles on American book history)
  • Davies Project. "American Libraries before 1876". Princeton University. (Database created from work of Haynes McMullen)[1]
  • "What Middletown Read". Indiana: Ball State University. Database and search engine built upon the circulation records of the Muncie (Indiana) Public Library from 1891 to 1902