The Grumpy Taxpayer$ non-profit group is hosting its 2019 Annual General Meeting at the downtown Greater Victoria Public Library on Nov. 27. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Greater Victoria libraries list most popular titles of 2020

Old releases such as Little Women crack Top 10 list as readers turn to digital sources

Did you bury your nose in a few books this year? Many who visited the Greater Victoria Public Library’s (GVPL) 12 branches distracted themselves from the unusual events of 2020 with a good book or two – some new and some old favourites.

On Dec. 31, the GVPL released the titles of the most popular books of 2020. Millions of items – from books to DVDs to art supplies – are borrowed from the branches across the Capital Regional District each year and staff track the trends to see what library card-holders liked most.

READ ALSO: Greater Victoria library highlights free digital entertainment offerings for at-home holiday season

The GVPL’s 2020 lists show the most-borrowed adult fiction, adult non-fiction, children’s and teen books – whether they be physical copies, large-print, ebooks or audiobooks.

The most borrowed adult fiction book was Where the Crawdads Sing – published in 2018 and written by American author Delia Owens – the book was also among the GVPL’s top books of 2019. Titles by Canadian Authors, Margaret Atwood, Emily St. John Mandel and Louise Penny also ranked in the top 10 – Penny made the list twice with her books All the devils are here and A better man.

READ ALSO: Greater Victoria libraries shut doors until further notice

Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2018 memoir, Becoming, was once again the most popular adult non-fiction book of the year. Her husband Barack Obama’s 2020 memoir, A Promised Land, ranked third.

Children and teens looked to series, trilogies and older novels to pass the time this year. Louisa May Alcott’s 1868/69 novel, Little Women was the oldest book to crack any of the GVPL lists and ranked fifth on the children’s list. Markus Zusak’s 15-year-old release The Book Thief topped the teen list for 2020. J.K. Rowling’s 1997 release Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone ranked first on the children’s list and nabbed the fifth-place spot on the teen list.

The most-borrowed lists for this year included many books published in previous years and the GVPL staff noted this may have been because the older titles were accessible online. As a result of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, GVPL branches were closed and readers logged in to online sources and, according to staff, the circulation of digital items increased by more than 92 per cent.

READ ALSO: What people are reading, watching and learning from local libraries during COVID-19

Anyone interested in signing up for a library card can do so online at www.gvpl.ca/get-a-library-card/ and those in need of assistance with the GVPL’s digital borrowing platforms can visit www.gvpl.ca/help.

Most Borrowed Books of 2020

Adult Fiction:

1. Where the crawdads sing by Delia Owens

2. Blue moon by Lee Child

3. The night fire by Michael Connelly

4. The testaments by Margaret Atwood

5. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

6. All the devils are here by Louise Penny

7. American dirt by Jeanine Cummins

8. The glass hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

9. Agent running in the field by John Le Carré

10. A better man by Louise Penny

Adult Non-Fiction:

1. Becoming by Michelle Obama

2. Talking to strangers: what we should know about the people we don’t know by Malcolm Gladwell

3. A promised land by Barack Obama

4. The body: a guide for occupants by Bill Bryson

5. Untamed by Glennon Doyle

6. Braiding sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

7. Educated: a memoir by Tara Westover

8. Atomic habits: tiny changes, remarkable results: an easy & proven way to build good habits & break bad ones by James Clear

9. From the ashes: my story of being Métis, homeless, and finding my way by Jesse Thistle

10. Catch and kill: lies, spies, and a conspiracy to protect predators by Ronan Farrow

Children (each series only appears once):

1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, plus others from the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

2. Guts by Raina Telgemeier

3. Wrecking ball, plus others from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney

4. Minecraft guide to farming by Alex Wiltshire

5. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

6. The Good Egg by Jory John and Pete Oswald

7. Matilda by Roald Dahl

8. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery,

9. Waiting is not easy! by Mo Willems

10. Bad kitty goes to the vet by Nick Bruel

Teen (each series only appears once):

1. The book thief by Markus Zusak

2. The ballad of songbirds and snakes by Suzanne Collins

3. The hate u give by Angie Thomas

4. The secret commonwealth by Philip Pullman

5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, plus others from the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

6. The queen of nothing by Holly Black

7. Children of blood and bone by Tomi Adeyemi

8. The giver by Lois Lowry

9. One of us is next by Karen M. McManus

10. Throne of glass by Sarah J. Maas


@devonscarlett
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devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

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