Saturday, February 06, 2016

The Most Popular Library Books in the U.K.

Richmond Library (building on the left) - My home library in England for several years

Interestingly, it appears that readers in the U.K. enjoy reading novels about crime in the U.S. as much as readers in this country enjoy reading novels about crime in the U.K.  At least that's an easy conclusion to reach from data supplied by Public Lending Right on the "100 most borrowed books in U.K. libraries in 2014/2015." 

 The two most borrowed books on the list are both crime fiction novels by Lee Child, and the writing robot that calls himself James Patterson has ten books of the 100 listed.  But here's something interesting:
The really big story, though, is to be found elsewhere in the data. Four authors this year registered more than a million loans; and three of them write for children. Coming in behind Patterson were Julia Donaldson of The Gruffalo fame; Daisy Meadows, the pseudonym for the various writers who contribute to the Rainbow Magic series; and Francesca Simon, the creator of Horrid Henry. Jacqueline Wilson, ever a PLR favourite, comes in at eight. An even more telling indication of just how comprehensively children’s writers have dominated last year’s borrowing figures, though, is provided by the list of authors with the most books in the Top 100. Patterson – inevitably – tops this ranking as well, with 10; but directly behind him are Jeff Kinney, creator of the Wimpy Kid Diaries, with seven; David Walliams, with five; and Liz Pichon, the illustrator and author of the Tom Gates books, with four. By comparison, Child, John Grisham, Michael Connelly and Jo Nesbø all come limping in with a mere three.
I suspect that a list constructed for U.S. libraries would look much the same...and I'll be keeping an eye out for one.

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