Posted by: Kirsty | February 9, 2009

The UK’s most borrowed library books 2007-2008

I am racked with literary guilt. I have lived in Oxford for three and a half years now, and I still haven’t joined the library. I’ve joined *a* library: The Bodleian, which I suppose is the library to join if you’re only ever going to join one. But that’s an academic pursuit, rather than a purely recreational one, and so in that sense doesn’t count.

Buying books is my extravagence. I don’t hold much truck with shoes or handbags (though a good pair of colourful Converse does make me slightly giddy) and while I do spend a fair bit of time in my local pub, I have not expensive tastes. No Cristal for me (not that they stock it), I’m a lager/cider/beer girl, though not at the same time you will be relieved to hear. Books are The Thing I Spend My Spare Cash On. Lots of them. According to LibraryThing, I have something approaching 1600 books in my house, including the 150 or so that belong to Boyfriend. I also mainly buy second-hand books (she says, trying to assuage guilt).

BUT. I really should join the library. The actual public library, not an academic library. I will get around to it, though I’m not exactly running out of things to read at home. Anyway, as you may already have seen last week, the list of the UK’s most borrowed books from 2007-2008 has been released, and here it is:

01. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
02. The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
03. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards
04. Relentless by Simon Kernick
05. The Other Side of the Bridge by Mary Lawson
06. The Quickie by James Patterson and M. Ledwidge
07. The 6th Target by James Patterson and M. Paetro
08. The Savage Garden by Mark Mills
09. Cross by James Patterson
10. Step on a Crack by James Patterson and M. Ledwidge
11. The Overlook by Michael Connolly
12. Getting Rid of Matthew by Jane Fallon
13. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
14. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday
15. Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child

So lots of James Patterson there. It’s no surprise, then, that he heads up the list of most borrowed authors, with over 1.5 million loans over the year:

01. James Patterson
02. Jacqueline Wilson
03. Daisy Meadows
04. Nora Roberts
05. Francesca Simon
06. Mick Inkpen
07. Josephine Cox
08. Danielle Steel
09. Janet and Allan Ahlberg
10. Ian Whybrow
11. Ian Rankin
12. Julia Donaldson
13. Enid Blyton
14. Lauren Child
15. Roald Dahl

How lovely to see so many children’s authors in the Top 15, and I’m delighted that there are some classic kid’s authors like Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton there amongst the newer writers. I am surprised that JK Rowling isn’t in that list, though, but then she has written fewer books than many of these authors, and it’s easier to boost your loan-numbers if there are more books available.

Really must use the library more.



  1. This is so interesting! I may make it my next goal to read all of them! 😉

  2. The Oxford library’s pretty good actually. I’m a member and you can check if the book’s in online and stuff before you go over there (this may be common place now but not in Linlithgow so it impressed me.)

    In addition – you get to pick what design of library card you’d like! Which is a lot of fun!

  3. I was a little depressed by the main list but you have cheered me by pointing out the number of children’s writers on the author list. Do get yourself a library card and help improve the statistics for next year!

  4. Katy, it’s the choosing my library card design that’s swung it!

  5. I’m with you on the children’s books, except for Daisy Meadows – who churns out all those ‘Fairies’ books – the pet Fs, the party Fs, the jewel Fs, the weather Fs, all the Fairy variations on a theme that you could wish for – there must be a 100 in the series by now. They are so repetitive and derivative and stop girls reading proper books.

  6. I went for the green fields design for mine. And you get a keyring version and a natty little bookmark.

    Also you can renew your books online, which has saved me from a fine on many an occasion.


%d bloggers like this: