Just for fun I checked the sales figures on the entire series, and by far that great majority of Knausgaards sold this year are Book 1. I can’t draw any other conclusion than that many, many people are hearing about Knausgaard for the first time this year and/or have finally been persuaded to give the series a try. Which seems to bode well for My Struggle remaining a thing of interest to the mass media and reading public through Book 6.
For even more fun, I ran the numbers on Elena Ferrante and discovered more or less the same thing: this is by far her best sales year to date, so I’m guessing there’s a similar thing happening there. (And keep in mind, the series concludes with the fourth volume, releasing in September.)
I’m not quite sure what to make of this. Perhaps series are viable right now in a way they haven’t been for a while. Perhaps people like the idea of having a book that they can look forward to reading year-over-year for a while, and maybe the series aspect gives rise to a community of readers in a way that you don’t necessarily get with stand-alone books by the same author. Whatever it is, Knausgaard and Ferrante are commodities that have been on the market for a few years now, and so far people are more and more eager to read them.