A denouement to the tote bags and the bucket hats and the pop-up shop and the mural and the coffee carts: after just three days of sales, Sally Rooney’s Beautiful World, Where Are You is Waterstones’s bestselling fiction title of 2021. Sales are reportedly running at double those of Rooney’s last novel, Normal People.
“We are really pleased for Sally Rooney,” James Daunt, managing director of Waterstones, told The Irish Times. “Our booksellers love her. She has been so generous and kind with her time and effort over the years, and everyone is really happy for her.”
Daunt told The Bookseller that Beautiful World, Where Are You “has filled up the shops again and set us up for what is a crucial time of the year. We need a good Christmas to get us back into shape after what has been a pretty terrible eighteen months.” (The terrible eighteen months involved furloughed employees petitioning Waterstones’s owner, the hedge fund Elliott Advisors, for minimum wage.)
Beautiful World, Where Are You is currently #5 on Amazon’s bestseller list.