Crime fiction still strong in UK libraries

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agatharaisinquicheofdeath300What do you think the most borrowed book was in UK libraries last year? Go on, have a guess… OK, we’ll tell you. It was Lee Child’s Personal, a book we gave three stars in our review. A respectable score, but not the five twinklers awarded to the best books. Hey-ho, shows what we know.

Lee Child’s success is one of several interesting findings in figures released by Public Lending Right, the service that monitors library loans and makes sure authors and illustrators receive a micropayment each time one of their works is borrowed. The statistics for 2014-15 reveal that after several years of dominance crime might be losing its grip, with children’s titles on the rise. However, James Patterson remains the most-borrowed author for the ninth year in a row.

In addition to James Patterson, the top 10 most-borrowed writers include MC Beaton, Nora Roberts and Lee Child. The rest of the slots are filled with children’s authors, plus Anna Jacobs, who writes historical and modern fiction.

Top 10 most borrowed authors 2014-15
1 James Patterson
2 Julia Donaldson
3 Daisy Meadows
4 Francesca Simon
5 MC Beaton
6 Adam Blade
7 Nora Roberts
8 Jacqueline Wilson
9 Lee Child
10 Anna Jacobs

Patterson’s success – and that of the crime genre – is further established in the top 10 chart for individual titles. Lee Child books come in first and second, with books by Peter Robinson, Robert Galbraith, Gillian Flynn, James Patterson and Peter James filling the rest of the top eight. Only one children’s book made the top 10 – Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney.

Top 10 most borrowed books 2014-15
1 Personal
2 Never Go Back by Lee Child
3 Abattoir Blues by Peter Robinson
4 The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
5 Invisible by James Patterson
6 Unlucky 13 by James Patterson
7 Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
8 Want You Dead by Peter James
9 Be Careful What You Wish For by Jeffrey Archer
10 Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

cuckooscalling100PLR’s remit also covers audiobooks, and in that category crime took the top spot with Lesley Pearce’s Without A Trace. Pearce’s books are typically romance adventures, but in this one the female protagonist Molly Heywood is trying to solve a murder and kidnapping in World War II East London, before stumbling upon the chance of love. Robert Galbraith’s The Silkworm and The Cuckoo’s Calling were also in the top 10 audiobooks, alongside Never Go Back by Lee Child.

This month, PLR will make payments totalling £6 million to 22,347 writers, illustrators, photographers, editors, translators, adaptors, narrators, producers and abridgers. This year’s rate per loan is 7.67p.

Have you borrowed any of the books mentioned from your library? Tell us about what you think of these stats in the comments below.

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