Amazon was founded with the vision to make books more accessible to readers around the world. In the UK, this started with the sale of the book 3001: The Final Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke. The fourth and final book in the brilliant sci-fi Space Odyssey series, the novel follows Frank Poole, one of the astronauts from the original 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The company has diversified into a wide array of products but books have remained a core part of Amazon, with subsequent expansions over the years into eBooks with Amazon Kindle and audiobooks with Audible.
To celebrate 25 years of Amazon in the UK, we’ve collected a selection of the most popular books of all time on Amazon.co.uk, for a peek into what the British public have bought and read over the years.
'The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse' by Charlie Mackesy
A social media sleeper hit, this bestselling children’s book first began to take form as drawings about a little boy and his animal friends, posted to Instagram by South London artist Charlie Mackesy. When the book emerged in 2019, it quickly hit bestseller lists and was named book of the year by Waterstones.
Full of humble, illustrated tales about life and love, the book has a universal appeal and a worldwide following, having been translated into 17 languages.
'Pinch of Nom' by Kate & Kay Allinson
Starting off as a simple idea between the two authors in 2016, this series of cookbooks has taken the world by storm with delicious and healthy recipes. Catherine and Kay's approach to slimming meals without sacrificing flavour has attracted hungry readers looking for a balanced and tasty way to eat better.
'The Thursday Murder Club' by Richard Osman
This charming and witty murder mystery novel has gained enormous popularity for its unique blend of humour and intrigue – rapidly popularising the “cosy crime” genre. Richard Osman's quirky group of sleuthing pensioners, alongside his sharp storytelling, make this thriller a delightful read for fans of sleepy villages hiding darker secrets.
'Fifty Shades of Grey' by E.L. James
E.L. James' steamy romance trilogy (including Fifty Shades Darker and
Fifty Shades Freed) became a cultural phenomenon almost overnight when she self-published the first novel in 2011. The captivating and controversial story of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey explores the complexities of desire and relationships, appealing to readers seeking an exhilarating experience.
'Lean in 15 - The Shift Plan' by Joe Wicks
Joe Wicks' blend of fitness and nutrition took over the country during the 2020 lockdown, so his guide to eating and exercising well for people with busy lives was destined to be a bestseller. The 15-minute meals and workouts included have helped thousands of readers achieve their fitness goals while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
'To Kill A Mockingbird' by Harper Lee
Harper Lee’s debut novel about a court trial and racial inequality in Alabama has been taught to students in UK schools since its publication in 1960. Recognised by British librarians as “a book you must read before you die”, To Kill A Mockingbird is a familiar title to anyone that has sat in an English classroom.
'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' by Eric Carle
This beloved children's classic has been a worldwide phenomenon for generations and will be familiar to most from bedtime readings or nursery school classrooms. Eric Carle's colourful illustrations and engaging story teach young readers about healthy eating and counting in a delightful way.
'The Chimp Paradox' by Professor Steve Peters
This self-help book has struck a chord with readers seeking to manage their minds and emotions. Professor Steve Peters' mind management program offers valuable insights for achieving success, confidence, and happiness – based on scientific facts and principles, simplified into a practical, everyday model.
'This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor' by Adam Kay
Adam Kay's candid, humourous and often tragic account of life as a junior doctor resonated with readers far beyond the medical world. The book provides a poignant look at the challenges and sacrifices of being an NHS doctor, accompanied by plenty of darkly mischievous witticisms.
Top 25 of the most popular books of all time on Amazon.co.uk (in alphabetical order):
- An Inspector Calls – J.B Priestley
- Behind Closed Doors – B.A Paris
- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman
- Fifty Shades of Grey – E.L James
- Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K Rowling
- Lean in 15 – The Shift Plan: 15 Minute Meals and Workouts to Keep You Lean and Healthy – Joe Wicks
- Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
- Pinch of Nom: 100 Slimming, Home-style Recipes – Kate and Kay Allinson
- Sapiens – Yuval Noah Harari
- The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse – Charlie Mackesy
- The Chimp Paradox – Professor Steve Peters
- The Fault in Our Stars – John Green
- The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson
- The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
- The Husband’s Secret – Liane Moriarty
- The Midnight Library – Matt Haig
- The Secret – Rhonda Byrne
- The Tattooist of Auschwitz – Holly Morris
- The Thursday Murder Club: (The Thursday Murder Club 1) – Richard Osman
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle
- This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor – Adam Kay
- To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
- Where the Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens
Find all the most popular products across different categories listed here.