Over the past few years, crime fiction has ruled the roost in terms of books borrowed from British libraries, and it seems the only threat to its hegemony in 2015-16 was the Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, made into a film last year, was the most borrowed books according to Public Lending Right, an organisation that tracks library lending figures and make sure authors get a micropayment each time one of their books is borrowed.
Lee Child, and James Patterson were the other two crime authors enjoying glory in the top 10 most borrowed fiction titles, alongside Harper Lee and David Walliams. You can see the lists below.
If you take children’s titles out of the equation, crime fiction seems to have as strong a grip on library borrowers as ever. Seven of the top 10 most borrowed adult fiction authors were crime and thriller writers in 2015-16. James Patterson is the most borrowed author in UK libraries, an accolade he’s held since 2006-07. Over the last decade 20 million copies of his books have been lent. MC Beaton with, her cosy crime books featuring Agatha Raisin and Hamish McBeth, was the second most-borrowed author of the year, joined by Lee Child in the top five. Agatha Christie is still in the top 20.
In audiobooks, however, comedian turned children’s author David Walliams cleaned up, occupying every top five position with Ratburger, Billionaire Boy, Gangsta Granny, Demon Dentist and Mr Stink. He narrates his own books.
In February 2017, PLR is distributing £6 million to 22,202 authors at a Rate Per Loan of 7.82 pence.
Top five most borrowed books
1 – The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (2015) Doubleday 2015
2 – Personal by Lee Child (2014)
3 – Make Me by Lee Child (2015)
4 – Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (2008)
5 – Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (2014)
Top 20 most borrowed in Adult Fiction
1 – James Patterson
2 – MC Beaton
3 – Nora Roberts
4 – Anna Jacobs
5 – Lee Child
6 – David Baldacci
7 – Danielle Steel
8 – Clive Cussler
9 – Michael Connelly
10 – John Grisham
11 – Peter James
12 – Harlan Coben
13 – Ann Cleeves
14 – Alexander McCall Smith
15 – Katie Flynn
16 – Ian Rankin
17 – JD Robb
18 – Jeffrey Archer
19 – Agatha Christie
20 – Susan Lewis