You'll notice that not all of these 15 books were published in 2010. This is a popularity contest, not a judging or any kind of criticial evaluation. Every year, TOP readers buy thousands of books through our Amazon links. Naturally, most titles sell one copy, although there are always surprises there, like the fact that four British readers bought Roger's Profanisaurus: Das Krapital, The Revolutionary Dictionary of Bad Language, or that three American readers purchased Calculus Made Easy (Ctein's influence, no doubt). The following 15 titles represent the books our readers bought the most of in 2010.
In some ways it was a more democratic year than usual, in that the best-selling title only sold 127 copies—modest by the standards of other years. The last title on this list (listed first, since they're in reverse order) sold 31 copies (and it's a pretty great book, too—I've gotten a copy, and a review is one of those things I mean to get to). The top fifteen titles listed here represent 1,107 copies altogether, give or take a few if my counting was not quite accurate.
About sixty titles sold between 20 and 30 copies each, and these included a number of "evergreen" titles for us, including technical books such as Light: Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting and the all-time No. 1 best-selling title on TOP, Looking at Photographs: 100 Pictures from the Collection of The Museum of Modern Art by the late John Szarkowski. Not surprising, I guess, as that one is one of my own all-time favorite books about photography as well.
All but one of these books are still in print.
Without further ado, the 2010 list, counting backwards:
15. Street Photography Now by Sophie Howarth and Stephen McLaren (Thames & Hudson, 2010).
14. Accommodating Nature: The Photographs of Frank Gohlke by John Rohrbach (Center for American Places, 2007).
13. Street Seen: The Psychological Gesture in American Photography, 1940–1959 by Lisa Hostetler (Prestel USA, 2010).
12. Bound for Glory: America in Color 1939–43 by Paul Hendrickson (Harry N. Abrams, 2004) (no longer available new).
11. The Pleasures of Good Photographs (Aperture Ideas) by Gerry Badger (Aperture, 2010).
10. Josef Koudelka (Photofile) (Thames & Hudson, 2007).
9. Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century by Peter Galassi (Museum of Modern Art, 2010).
8. Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera by Bryan Peterson (Amphoto Books, Third Edition 2010).
7. Digital Restoration from Start to Finish: How to repair old and damaged photographs by Ctein (Focal Press, Second Edition 2010).
6. New Topographics by Britt Salvesen (Steidl & Partners, 2010).
5. Photography Unplugged by Harald Mante (Rocky Nook, 2009).
4. William Albert Allard: Five Decades (Focal Point, 2010).
3. [See "Book of the Year 2010," tomorrow]
2. August Sander: People of the 20th Century (7 Volume Set) by Susanne Lange and Gabriele Conrath-Scholl (Harry N. Abrams, 2002).
...And finally (drum roll, please), TOP's Number One best-selling book of 2010:
1. Thoughts on Landscape: Collected Writings and Interviews by Frank Gohlke (Hol Art, 2009).
As indicated above, I'll post the 2010 TOP Book of the Year tomorrow morning. The choice could hardly be more clear, but in at least one way is rather astonishing....
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Original contents copyright 2010 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.