Pop Psychology: What Amazon’s Book List Says About Us

Summer K

You know how people often say you can look to the stock market to figure out what America is thinking? Well, we say nobody has any money right now to invest and there’s a far easier way to find out the state of the country’s collective psyche — namely what books are trending on Amazon.com at any given moment.

So what can we gage as we slide into that awkward space between March and April when the weather has a mind of its own and we have nothing to look forward to besides one night of green beer-guzzling glory courtesy of St. Patrick’s Day? Here’s our take on Amazon’s Top 100 bestsellers:

1-10: YA Books, Romance Novels and Chick Lit

Diagnosis: It’s no surprise that The Hunger Games is currently dominating the charts — it’s obvious that escapist themes rule the top spots. With our New Year’s resolutions dwindling and our Valentine’s Day prospects all but dried up, the country turns to teenage futuristic dystopia, throbbing manhoods and unrealistic happily-ever-afters as wedeal with regret for that one-night-stand we indulged in, or carefully plot ways to get out of that expensive gym membership we bought on impulse last month.

11-20: Classic Fiction, Respected “Works” and Go-To Business Advice

Diagnosis: While the first group has all but given up, this second tier are those obnoxious overachievers and goal seekers who set out at the beginning of year to do something more significant with their lives — in the form or a “to-do” list that reads as such: “Pick up Pride and Prejudice so I sound more sophisticated on my next Match.com date, improve my management skills so I can finally get a raise and a corner office and join a REAL book club in which Nicholas Sparks is never referenced or mentioned.”

21-30: B-List Romance Novels, Cookbooks and Children’s Fiction

Diagnosis: Seeking easy, instant gratification in every way possible, this group is happily “phoning it in” for the sake of time and energy. These are the people that secretly read questionable titles like Cowboys Make Better Lovers on the train to work, live and die by Lean Cuisines and pat themselves on the back when they fit in a quickie bedtime story for their kids a few nights a week. The most stressed out of all groups, we say enjoy your trashy novel, don’t beat yourself up too much and take a moment to find your moment of zen…in a child-free zone.

31-100: Ethnic Fiction, Fantasy, Required High School Reading and Romance Novels You Find Abandoned in Your Doctor’s Office

Diagnosis: Herein lies your fringe contingent. On one hand you have those teenagers forced by their parents and teachers to decipher The Scarlet Letter, and on the other are those quirky folk that find Diary of a Public Radio Slave and A Woman to Blame titillating reads. No judgements here — just keep in mind, obscurity doesn’t automatically equal brilliance, so don’t feel disappointed if your co-workers fail to see the benefits of starting a Vamplayers fanpage.