THE power of the movies was felt at Sydney's book shops this Christmas, driving sales of titles such as The Lovely Bones and Where the Wild Things Are .
Television also helped boost sales, with MasterChef heating up sales of cookbooks. ''This year was driven strongly by TV,'' said the assistant manager of the Dymocks city store, Dean Bastian. ''Cooking was the top category. We sold more cooking than fiction.''
Shearer's bookstore in Leichhardt also saw a boost in sales of Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse novels, the inspiration behind the HBO series True Blood .
But there was still an appetite for an untouched novel.
The general manager of Pages and Pages in Mosman, Jon Page, said books in Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy were the biggest sellers. ''All three books in that series would have easily been in our top 10 for December. Those books were flying out the door. We thought the series was dying down, but it just flared back into life for Christmas.''
There were also a few surprises, including a self-published title on Sydney's street art.
''Our stand-out bestseller was Street Art of Sydney's Inner West by Melinda Vassallo,'' said Sally Chilvers, general manager of Better Read than Dead in Newtown.
''It was our bestseller overall. We were really pleased. That project was something we've watched all year.''
The collection of photos, published with the help of a cultural grant from Marrickville Council, has sold almost 600 copies at Better Read than Dead since its publication in August.
The shop described it as a ''part of our local history''.
Ms Chilvers said another surprise success was Isol's It's Useful to Have a Duck , which headed up children's fiction with Shaun Tan's The Red Tree .
Another top seller for children was Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Mr Page described the partially graphic novel as ''good for getting reluctant boys into reading''.
Books were a popular choice for children this Christmas. Joey Wen, who has two children, said he had given several to his daughter Carmen, 7.
''Yes, she got some, and she's trying to learn [to read]. Now we're looking around, and maybe we're going to buy some more.''
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