James R A Davenport grabbed all the book covers of the top 10 best selling books from 2000 to 2012, according to USA Today. Then he put all of them together (1,300 books) in one giant graphic. What he discovered is quite interesting:
There is a TONNE of fascinating structure within this visualisation. Early on, in the wake of Y2K and the rise of the dotcom era, many book covers were white. While still popular, bright saturated hues have become a mainstay now a decade on. The "boy who lived" was the biggest chart topper, along with a couple self help books, and of course Dan Brown's tremendous showing starting in 2003. In 2008 a massive black swatch [Twilight] took hold of the top spots, and crushed records.
You can also see the "decay pattern", as books drop in popularity over a few weeks. As you might expect, books tend to jump up the chart very fast, and decay a bit slower.