I am looking for an article (or other source) that addresses the calculus textbook industry, specifically which calculus textbooks are most commonly adopted. I'm primarily interested in that of the U.S.

I've heard that Stewart's calculus texts dominate approximate 2/5 of the calculus textbook market, but I'm looking for a source that supports such a claim (and also discusses the performance of other texts (e.g., Thomas) in the calculus textbook market).

  • $\begingroup$ Are you interested in the international market, or just that of a particular country? $\endgroup$
    – JRN
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 0:25
  • $\begingroup$ I'm primarily interested in that of the U.S. $\endgroup$
    – Mr Toad
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 2:13
  • $\begingroup$ Are you asking in terms of quality or finances ? $\endgroup$
    – Saikat
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 4:38
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What level calculus? High school non-AP calc, high school AP calc, college calc for non-STE majors, college calc for STE majors, college calc for math majors? High school non-AP calc will be the most watered down and procedural, college calc for math majors will be the most theoretical, and the rest will be on the spectrum in between. $\endgroup$
    – shoover
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 16:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Somewhere I asked an equivalent question about college algebra books, and it similarly went nowhere. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 23:37

1 Answer 1


As a rough start, I get this from Amazon...

  • $\begingroup$ Could you tell us more precisely how you got that graphic / list? That does not quite agree with what I get when I look at the bestsellers list under Books > Textbooks > Science & Mathematics > Mathematics > Calculus. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 10, 2016 at 10:38
  • $\begingroup$ @RoryDaulton ... Go ahead and post what you got. This one is Books : Science & Math : Mathematics : Pure Mathematics : Calculus, then look at the authors in the left column. I had tried calculus bestsellers, but it seems biology and chemistry books are at the top of that... $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 10, 2016 at 11:35
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    $\begingroup$ I have upvoted your answer, but removing duplicate authors I get this top-20 list starting with #1: David E. Bock, James Stewart, Ron Larson, Jon Rogawski, Michael Sullivan, Deborah Hughes-Hallett, William L. Briggs, Ross L. Finney, Soo T. Tan, Frank Ayres, Karl J. Smith, Raymond A. Barnett. Stewart is not #1 but he does have #2,3,4,5,8,11, and 14. One could argue that Bock is not a textbook, since it is advertised as a "comprehensive AP test preparation manual." $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 10, 2016 at 13:22

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