Barnes & Noble says books about anxiety are trending because ‘we may be living in an anxious nation’

Barnes & Noble said that sales of books related to anxiety are on the upswing.

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Barnes & Noble said that sales of books related to anxiety are on the upswing.
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Getty/Scott Olson

  • Barnes & Noble said that sales of books relating to managing and coping with anxiety are up 26% from a year ago.
  • The sales data shows that customers are gravitating towards workbooks and toolkits to try and manage the growing stress of “an anxious nation.”
  • “The Anxiety category has really popped in the last year as book buyers look for practical guides and strategies on how to manage anxiety,” Barnes & Noble’s senior director of merchandising, Liz Harwell, said in a press release.

Barnes & Noble is cashing in on anxiety.

The bookstore chain said in a press release on Wednesday that sales of books related to anxiety are up 26% year-over-year compared to last June. The bestselling books in the category include workbooks, toolkits, and self-help books about managing anxiety.

“The Anxiety category has really popped in the last year as book buyers look for practical guides and strategies on how to manage anxiety,” Barnes & Noble’s senior director of merchandising, Liz Harwell, said in a press release.

Customers in states around the country are not equally stressed out, however. California, Michigan, and Massachusetts saw the largest increase in interest in anxiety books, while Texas, North Carolina, and Florida saw the largest decrease in interest.

Anxiety

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Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble didn’t ascribe a cause to this sudden increase in people wanting to deal with their anxiety, but noted that the purchase of books does imply they’re looking for solutions.

“According to this sales data, we may be living in an anxious nation, but the good news is that book buyers across the country are also looking for solutions to their stress,” Harwell said.

Along with an uptick in anxiety-related book sales, Barnes & Noble also noted an increase in sales of books in the fantasy genre, up 10%, and in the Finding Happiness category, which was up 83%.