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19 November 2018

Most borrowed books from public libraries

3 February 2017

The latest annual data released by Public Lending Right (PLR) on 3 February 2017 shows that The Girl on the Train by best-selling UK author and former journalist Paula Hawkins was the most borrowed book from UK public libraries.

Commenting on her delight at the book's success in libraries during 2015-16 Paula Hawkins said:  "As a voracious reader possessed of a fevered imagination, my childhood visits to the library were a thrill. I credit those weekly trips with making me the reader - and the writer - I became, so I could not be more delighted to discover that The Girl on the Train was the most borrowed book from UK libraries last year."

For the full lists and categories, see the PLR website.

Top 10 Most Borrowed Titles, 2015/16

  1. The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins
  2. Persona - Lee Child
  3. Make Me - Lee Child
  4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Jeff Kinney
  5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul - Jeff Kinney
  6. Alert - James Patterson
  7. Go Set a Watchman - Harper Lee
  8. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever  - Jeff Kinney
  9. Awful Auntie - David Walliams (illus Tony Ross)
  10. Truth or Die - James Patterson 

First published in 2015, The Girl on the Train quickly rose to the top of the bestseller list and was adapted into a film starring Emily Blunt in 2016.

PLR figures today also reveal that James Patterson was the most borrowed author for the 10th year running. His books clocked up over two million loans from UK public libraries during 2015-16.  Over the 10 years he has been in the top spot his books have been borrowed over 20 million times.

Public Lending Right (PLR) was established by Act of Parliament in 1979 and is the responsibility of the British Library. PLR gives authors the legal right to receive payment from government each time their books are loaned through the public library system. In February 2017 PLR is distributing £6 million to 22,202 authors at a Rate Per Loan of 7.82 pence.

Children's authors once again figure strongly. Seven are featured among the top 10 and four of these had over one million loans from UK public libraries last year.  The four are former Children's Laureate Julia Donaldson; Daisy Meadows, the brand behind the "Rainbow Magic" series; Roderick Hunt author of "The Magic Key" books, written as a part of the Oxford Reading Tree and Francesca Simon, author of the "Horrid Henry" series. 

Top 10 Most Borrowed Authors, 2015/16 (2014/15 position in brackets)

  1. James Patterson (1)       
  2. Julia Donaldson (2)         
  3. Daisy Meadows (3)      
  4. Roderick Hunt (14)         
  5. Francesca Simon (4)       
  6. M C Beaton (5)
  7. Adam Blade (6)
  8. Jacqueline Wilson (7)
  9. Roald Dahl (10)
  10. Nora Roberts (8)