When you think of best-selling books, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn’t textbooks. While they might not be selling in the hundreds of millions like some of the other best-selling classics out there (or, let’s be honest, have the widespread appeal), there are many textbooks that have had some pretty impressive sales over the past few decades, in all their various editions. With so many colleges using them and so many students buying them, chances are good that you’ll run across one of these top sellers at some point during your college career. If not, you may just want to check out what all the hubbub is about, and grab a copy at your school’s library to do some supplemental reading.
Anatomy & Physiology: The Unity of Form and Function, 5th edition by Dr. Kenneth Saladin
Georgia College professor Kenneth Saladin’s text is one of the best-selling textbooks in the entire science, mathematics, and engineering market and has won him numerous accolades. Taking four years to write, Anatomy & Physiology uses conversational writing, storytelling, and numerous illustrations to help students better understand sometimes complex topics. Its unique perspective has made it a favorite among students and professors alike, generating millions of book sales over the decade since it was first published.
Biology with Mastering Biology, 8th edition by Neil A. Campbell and Jane B. Reece
Now in its 8th edition, this textbook is not only the most popular and best-selling college biology text here in the U.S., but around the world as well. To date, the book has sold over six million copies worldwide, helping students around the globe to learn more about everything from the foundations of ecosystems to the intricacies of cell reproduction. The most recent edition of the book comes with a free copy of the text in e-book form, so students no longer need lug the hefty 1,400 page book to class.
Calculus, 7th edition by James Stewart
If you take a calculus class in college, you’ll more than likely be using one of James Stewart’s best-selling books as your main textbook for the course. Filled with helpful graphics, loads of exercises, and thorough, though sometimes dense text, this particular text is a favorite among math professors. Stewart’s other major calculus textbook, Early Transcendentals is also a major best-seller in the math market. Translated into Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Korean, Chinese, Greek, and Indonesian, students around the world use these calculus books in their classrooms.
Managerial Accounting by Ray Garrison, Eric Noreen, and Peter Brewer
When it comes to accounting textbooks, this one is tops, focusing on the major functions managers must perform within their organizations and what accounting information they’ll come to rely on to fulfill these functions. With over 3 million copies sold since it was first published, Managerial Accounting has been the first choice for business courses on the subject for years.
The Art of Public Speaking with Connect Lucas by Stephen Lucas
First published in 1989, University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Stephen Lucas’ text has since become one of the most widely-used texts in speech and communication courses in the U.S. Accessible and easy-to-read, the award-winning professor’s work has sold over 10 million copies to date. With a new edition just released in 2008, it’s sure to stay at the top of its game for years to come.
Business Law: Text and Cases by Kenneth Clarkson, Roger LeRoy Miller, and Frank B. Cross
Now in its 12th edition, this textbook blends classic “black letter law” teaching with cutting-edge examples drawn from contemporary cases and issues. Used by more colleges and universities than any other business law textbook, Business Law has long been a market leader, selling millions of copies since it was first released in 1980.
Principles of Microeconomics by N. Gregory Mankiw
Many students find economics to be a challenging and intimidating subject, but fans of this text say it presents the subject in a friendly, accessible, and interesting way. That’s probably one of the reasons it remains a favorite among college professors, and easily makes the list of best-selling textbooks. Of course, the fact that students can do homework, get support, and even interact with the author online doesn’t hurt either.
Chemistry: The Central Science by Theodore E. Brown, H. Eugene H. LeMay, Bruce E. Bursten, Catherine Murphy, and Patrick Woodward
Chemistry courses have for years been used to weed out less dedicated students from challenging degree programs. Yet many might have an easier time in chemistry with a textbook like this one, favored by students and professors alike. Currently in its 12th edition, the book has been used by millions of students since it first came on the market.
Psychology by David G. Myers
This psychology class standard has remained at the top of its game for years in part because of meticulous updates that are made to the text with each new edition. Author Myers adds the latest research, case studies, and new technologies to each successive edition, so that students have access to the best and latest information on the field. Far and away the best-selling book on introductory psychology, Myer’s text has found a place in the education of millions of students.
Understanding Nutrition by Eleanor Noss Whitney and Sharon Rady Rolfes
Students can learn about core nutrition topics like diet planning, macronutrients, vitamins and minerals, and food safety in this popular textbook. The book is the best-selling introductory text on nutrition out there, with current sales at over one million copies.