Books of the 1980s

Before the Nook, Kindle, or any other type of e-reader, people held books with actual paper pages.

Some of us even prefer the paper to the screen. Either way, books of the 1980s were a great way for you to kick back and entertain yourself – quietly.

Some of the best books of the 1980s are also from some of the best authors.

Most of these authors found themselves on the bestseller list every year of the decade.

Stephen King is on the list with a number of books published, most of them being bestsellers. Firestarter, Cujo, Pet Sematary, and The Talisman, written with Peter Straub, as well as Misery, Skeleton Crew, Tommyknockers, and It, – the one that made readers fear clowns forever.

Tom Clancy also published some great military and crime thrillers such as The Hunt for Red October, Red Storm Rising, Patriot Games, The Cardinal of the Kremlin, and Clear and Present Danger.

Danielle Steel leads the drama and romance genre, writing more than 20 books throughout the decade. Some of the bestsellers were Full Circle, Changes, Wanderlust, Fine Things, Kaleidoscope, Zoya, Star, and Daddy.

James Michener, a historical fiction author, had The Covenant, Space, Poland, Alaska, and Texas.

Health and fitness nuts had no shortage of reading material during the 80s. Weight Watchers was increasingly popular and capitalized on it by publishing books such as Weight Watchers 365-Day Menu Cookbook, The Weight Watchers Food Plan Diet Cookbook, Weight Watchers Quick Start Program Cookbook, and Weight Watchers Fast and Fabulous.

Richard Simmons threw his sequined hat in the ring with Richard Simmons Never Say Diet Book, and Richard Simmons Never Say Diet Cookbook.

Other bestselling books in the health genre were The Beverly Hills Diet by Judy Maze, Jane Fonda’s Workout Book, and Eat to Win by Robert Haas.

Some other hot books during the 80s were The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, by Robert Fulghum, and both The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy written by Robert Ludlum.

Jackie Collins, the sister of Joan Collins from Dynasty, also had some bestsellers with Hollywood Wives, Chances, Lucky, Hollywood Husbands, and Rock Star.

Also enjoying time on the bestseller list was Anne Rice of the horror/fantasy/gothic genre. She wrote the Vampire Chronicles series that started in the 70s with Interview with the Vampire, and added to the series with The Vampire Lestat in 1985 and The Queen of the Damned in 1988.

The 80s also saw some great autobiographies. Iacocca: an Autobiography was written by Iacocca with William Novak, Shelley: Also Known as Shirley, and Shelley II: The Middle of My Century by Shelley Winters.

If you were a child of the 80s, there is a good chance you had Shel Silverstein’s A Light in the Attic and The Indian in the Cupboard.

Any popular cartoon was also popular as a book, such as Garfield, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, He-Man, and Transformers.

Another type of book that was incredibly popular in the 80s was the Choose Your Own Adventure series. There were tons of titles to choose from, and they allowed the reader to enjoy multiple versions of one story, keeping the book of the shelf that much longer.

Reading is a great way to relax and some great books of the 1980s kept you engaged, informed, and coming back for more.