Summarized by Kent Larsen
"Standing for Something" Hits New York Times Bestseller List
New York Times Book Review 12Mar00 A1
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- President Gordon B. Hinckley's book "Standing
for Something" debuted at #4 in the Advice, How-to, and Miscellaneous
category of the New York Times Book Review's Best Seller's list. The
book is placed in a smaller category than the Fiction and Nonfiction
categories where most books appear.
The smaller Advice category is known for titles that appeal to
sections of the population or that otherwise don't fit the general
categories. The book also received a 'dagger,' indicating that some
bookstores report bulk orders. Bulk orders could indicate that copies
are being given away by organizations or that books are being used
for organizational purposes (such as for classes or instruction).
The Times Book Review's list is the best-known and most important
book best seller list in the U.S. It divides up its lists by Fiction
and Nonfiction and by hardcover books vs. paperbacks. It also
includes smaller (4 books each) lists in hardcover and paperback in
the Advice, How-to, and Miscellaneous category. The book has already
appeared on both the USA Today bestseller list and high on
Amazon.com's sales rankings. However, unlike the Times' system, both
USA Today and Amazon rank all books under the same system, leading to
lower rankings for most books. Given the book's drop in sales rank on
both USA Today and Amazon.com, it is possible that it will drop from
the Times' listing next week. However, appearances in the Times' Best
Seller list have been known to increase sales.
Meanwhile, the New York Times carried a news story about
President Hinckley's book "Standing for Something," and author Gustav
Niebuhr, who covers religion for the Times, interviewed Hinckley for
the article. While the story was not a review of the book, it did
describe the book and President Hinckley's reasons for writing it.
Niebuhr says that the book is anecdotal, referring often to lessons
that Hinckley has learned in his own life. It also, says Niebuhr, has
an ecumenical tone. In the book Hinckley speaks favorably of the
statements and work of other Churches, including statements of Pope
John Paul II and the efforts of Baptist churches. Explaining his
book, Hinckley told Niebuhr, ''Well, we don't have a stranglehold on
virtue. I think it was not intended as a book on the theology of the
church. It's a book on values.''
Some of Hinckley's values already get a public attention, but others
don't get the same degree of attention, observes Niebuhr, Gratitude,
for example, is often ignored, ''It expresses an attitude of
character that is so desirable that it is splendid to see in
people,'' Hinckley said. ''It shines through and becomes evident and
is an attribute well worth copying.''