After some months dominated by J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, The New York Times Book Review announced a change in policy for its famous book best-seller listings. Their new list of ‘trade paperback fiction … gives more emphasis to the literary novels and short-story collections reviewed so often in our pages’.1 The aim is clear: to exclude some – in fact, the very top – bestsellers from the best-seller list in order to make space for books whose value was signalled more by their presence in the paper’s review pages than by their sales figures alone. Six months later the paper attempted again to explain the rationale for its decision, but served to further confuse the distinction between ‘trade’ and its tautological formula of ‘mass-market’ bestsellers. In March 2008 Ian McEwan’s novel Atonement was in both charts, ranked 8th and 17th, respectively.