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.
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.
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.
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.
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