Tina Jordan
August 11, 2009 AT 01:13 PM EDT

Yes, you read that right: The book that’s outselling almost everything else in the country was originally published on October 16, 1961. Thanks to the release of Julie & Julia, Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which has never been out of print, is suddenly flying out of stores once again. The book’s publisher, Knopf, ordered a 50,000-copy reprint last week and is poised to order another 100,000 copies, perhaps as early as today (they currently have backorders totalling 60,000). So how many copies of the kitchen classic have been bought in this country over the years, anyway? That’s hard to say, according to Knopf spokesman Nicholas Latimer: “A 1961 book would have been tracked through a range of different record-keeping systems, including hand-written index cards, which we still have, believe it or not.” He added, “It’s a bit weird that neither of our two best-selling authors at the moment can be here to celebrate: Julia Child and Stieg Larsson (who wrote The Girl Who Played With Fire).”

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