In spite of its title, “Spare,” bookstores and libraries are unlikely to have extra copies of Prince Harry’s new memoir stay on their shelves for long.
Penguin Random House, the book’s publisher, reported over 1.4 million copies sold on the first day, including pre-orders, in the U.S., the U.K., and Canada, setting a record high for a nonfiction title from the world’s largest publisher.
Two days after the book became available to patrons at the Fort Worth Public Library, more than 500 patrons were in line for the audio book narrated by Harry himself. Over 400 placed a hold on the e-book and the physical hardcover had 115 users waiting in the queue.
As the collection development librarian for adult books, Michelle Morris buys fiction, nonfiction and biographical titles for the Fort Worth Public Library system. The popularity of the book has been “astounding,” she said.
“This is probably the book of the year,” she said. “It’s been a minute since there’s been a biography this popular.”
About a month before the book’s publication, requests slowly trickled in. Morris worried that she might have ordered too many copies, but interest surged after the royal’s recent flurry of press.
“The difference after the ‘60 Minutes’ interview actually left me a little reeling,” she said. “There’s been an explosive growth of interest.”
In the interview with Anderson Cooper, Harry described losing his mother at age 12 and feelings of shock and disbelief that followed her death. He also discussed the tension within his family and an altercation with his brother Prince William. An audience of 11.2 million tuned in for that discussion, according to data from Nielsen.
Morris has since ordered more copies for the library to help keep pace with demand. She also crafted a reading list of other related titles for readers to check out in the interim:
- “Diana, William, and Harry: The Heartbreaking Story of a Princess and Mother” by James Patterson and Chris Mooney (2022)
- “Brothers and Wives: Inside the Private Lives of William, Kate, Harry, and Meghan” by Christopher Andersen (2021)
- “Game of Crowns: Elizabeth, Camilla, Kate, and the Throne” by Christopher Andersen (2016)
- “Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family” by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand (2020)
- “Together: Our Community Cookbook” by Hubb Community Kitchen (2018) – Meghan Markle, then the Duchess of Sussex, wrote the foreword.
- “American Royalty” by Tracey Livesay (2022)
- “Red, White & Royal Blue” by Casey McQuiston (2019)
- “Royal Holiday” by Jasmine Guillory (2019)
- “The Royal We” by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan (2015)
Books recommended by Meghan Markle on her now shuttered website The Tig
- “The Martian” by Andy Weir (2011)
- “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel (2014)
- ”All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr (2014)
- “In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs” by Grace Bonney (2016)
- “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison (1970)
Marcheta Fornoff covers the arts for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.