Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov was number 8 on the 1959 bestseller list. It had been number 3 for the previous year. My review of the novel is listed under the 1958 bestseller category.
If you look at the bestseller lists of the first half of the twentieth century, you’ll find many instances when a book stayed on the list for two or even three years.
As late as the 1960s, you’ll find bestsellers that stuck to the list for a couple years. For example, Irving Stone’s The Agony and the Ecstasy was on the list in 1961 and 1962, as was J. D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey. Catherine Marshall’s Christy made the list in 1967 and 1968.
These days, it seems novels are popular about for about 20 minutes. Sad to say, many of the novels don’t deserve more than that.