book that, for a time, leads all others of its kind in sales, a designation that serves as an index of popular literary taste and judgment. Bookman, an American magazine of literature and criticism, began running best-seller lists in 1895, when it began publication. The list was compiled from reports of sales at bookstores throughout the country. Similar lists began to appear in other literary magazines and in metropolitan newspapers. The lists most commonly considered authoritative in the United States are those of Publishers Weekly and The New York Times. The practice spread from the United States; the British list generally considered most authoritative is that of The Sunday Times (London), reprinted in Bookseller.
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