What’s everyone reading in Northamptonshire?

250 million visits are made to public libraries each year in the UK. With 8.4 million active borrowers using libraries, what books have proved to be the most popular among readers?

The most obvious trend is that adult readers love thrillers, and children will always look for a good laugh. The most borrowed children’s book in Northamptonshire libraries in 2017 was Dog Zombies rule (for now) by Liz Pichon, which was borrowed 676 times over the year.

This was closely followed by Midnight Gang by David Walliams with 603 issues. Jennie Poh’s
Herbie’s Big Adventure and Claire Evans’ Three Little Superpigs followed close behind Walliams.
Other highly popular children’s books include Boa’s bad birthday by Jeanne Willis and World-
famous cheese shop break-in by Sean Taylor.

Nationwide, the most popular authors year after year include: James Patterson, Julia Donaldson, Francesca Simon, Lee Child, Roald Dahl and Jacqueline Wilson.

In 2016 the six most borrowed books in the UK were: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins,
Personal by Lee Child, Make Me by Lee Child, Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney and Alert by James Patterson.

In Northamptonshire, nearly 2m loans were issued in 2015-16, the most current data available. The most popular book loaned was Road to Little Dribbing by Bill Bryson, closely followed by The Silk Factory by Northamptonshire author, Judith Allnatt.

Although authors will always look to book sales to sustain their livelihood, popular writer Jojo Moyes affirmed the importance of libraries: “Delighted my PLR [Public Lending Right] statement shows that people borrowed my books last year. But more importantly it shows that libraries are still vital.

“Lose them, and we lose an irreplaceable thing: a community space, somewhere that anyone can both educate and entertain themselves, for free.”

Hannah Wakeford
May 2018