George Orwell’s famous classic ‘1984’ has sold out on Amazon in the United States after it rapidly rose to the top of the site’s bestseller list.
The ascent to the top began earlier this week when Donald Trump‘s adviser, Kellyanne Conway, reportedly coined the term “alternative facts” after she was asked to explain the reason for press secretary Sean Spicer making a statement to reporters that was filled with inaccuracies.
The 68 year old novel is famous for inventing a new concept of ‘newspeak’, which was a language that was designed by the government to influence the way in which people think through the use of the words that were available to them. The language which is promoted in the book by a government department that is responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism called the Ministry of Truth, limits free thought and prevents any ‘thought crimes’.
Conway’s comments that were made in an interview last week were referred to by a number of journalists as “Orwellian”, whilst comparing them to the famous novel, which has been said to be the reason for the influx of book sales. This has also resulted in an urgency for the Penguin publisher to print many more copies as booksellers have been unable to meet demands.
A Penguin spokesman told CNNMoney on Tuesday, “We put through a 75,000 copy reprint this week. That is a substantial reprint and larger than our typical reprint for ‘1984’”. Whist there are continuous sales of the novel, due to it being a compulsory classroom text in many schools and universities, such a huge reprint is very unusual.
Nielsen BookScan, a data provider that measures a huge proportion of book sales in the US, said that 1984 has sold 47,000 copies in print since the Election Day in November. This is an increase of 30% compared to sales of 36,000 during the same timeframe the previous year. However, despite these huge sale figures, new sales since Inauguration Day are not included, meaning that there has been an even bigger influx than the originally stated 30%.
According to CNN, a similar influx of sales of 1984 occurred back in 2013, during the time of the leaks by Edward Snowden, which meant that the huge topic of National Security Agency surveillance was greatly covered by the media.