For the Eleventh Year, James Patterson Remains the UK’s Most Borrowed Book from Libraries

By July 28, 2018 Libraries, Reading Habits

Data gathered by the Public Lending Right (PLR) has found that James Patterson’s thriller books, along with thriller books in general, are the most borrowed books from UK libraries. For the eleventh year in a row, James Patterson has been crowned the most borrowed author from public libraries. In fact, his books have been borrowed over 22 million times since 2007.

As The Guardian reports, Patterson has stated he’s thrilled to be holding on to his crown, while also giving his support for libraries. “I firmly believe that better readers become better thinkers and I think libraries are an integral part of any community, as they are essential in helping to share and spread the joy of reading,” he said. His 2016 novel, Bullseye, was the ninth most borrowed book from UK libraries last year.



Patterson’s long streak can be attributed to his prolific writing, he’s now published over 100 novels. Patterson often works with co-writers, which allows his speedy output of novels, the latest of whom was former US president Bill Clinton with the book The President is Missing.

The top 10 most borrowed titles from libraries were all thrillers, with The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins topping the charts for the second year running. Hot on her heels were a number of titles from Lee Child, who’s best known for his Jack Reacher series. The data gathered also shows which books were most popular in which regions of the UK. Books by Hawkins and Child were the most borrowed books in London, the West Midlands, Scotland, and Yorkshire and the Humber.

“Across the northern counties readers in the north-east have a penchant for crime/thrillers with seven of the books in the top 10 belonging to this genre. [Library users] in the north-west and Merseyside ensured that nine of the top 10 most borrowed books also belonged to this category,” stated PLR, it was also revealed that crime fiction took all of the top 10 spots in Wales.

However, in eastern counties Sunshine Over Wildflower Cottage by Milly Johnson was the most read book, but in the south-east, After You by Jojo Moyes was top of the charts. In the south-west, the top nine most borrowed books were all by Roald Dahl, and in Northern Ireland children’s books, such as those by Jeff Kinney, dominated the charts.

In the overall most borrowed list, children’s books make up four of the top five spots. Patterson’s No. 1 spot is followed closely by Julia Donaldson (The Gruffalo), Daisy Meadows (Rainbow Magic), Dahl and Roderick Hunt, each of whom were borrowed over a million times in 2017.



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