Lee Child's Night School (Bantam) tops the LibScan lending chart for the year to date, with a whopping 17,537 loans between January and July.
The Jack Reacher prequel also briefly topped the TCM chart at 2017’s half-way mark: with 237,516 copies sold, it defeated David Walliams' Blob (HarperCollins' Children’s) by a miniscule 559 copies, only to lose its year to date crown just days later to Walliams’ The World’s Worst Children 2.
Though Child has been a library-goers’ favourite since 2010, Night School’s particular stellar success over 2017 may be down to timing: the hardback release in November saw it take an early lead from January onwards, and the paperback’s release in April has only helped the title’s consistency—it’s been number one in the LibScan chart for every month this year.
For many of those months, Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train (Doubleday) has been the second most borrowed book following on from both 2015 and 2016’s full year charts, when the commuter thriller played second fiddle to two separate Lee Child titles. For the year-to date chart it is once again in the runner-up position—though in the latest July top 20, it has been usurped by Hawkins’ second crime title, Into the Water. For the year to date, it inches ahead of Jeffrey Archer’s This Was a Man (Pan) by just 115 loans. Despite its two and half years of library chart dominance, 2017 could be the first year since its publication that The Girl on the Train doesn’t feature in the top two.
Crime fiction, as always, had a strong hold on the chart, with TCM number ones John Grisham’s The Whistler (Hodder) and Ian Rankin’s Rather Be the Devil (Orion) both featuring in the top 10. Library-goers seemed to favour the specific hard-boiled private detective genre over psychological thrillers, with Hawkins the only female author in the top 20.
Despite a strong showing from Children’s titles, with five in the top 20, only two authors actually hit the chart—Walliams and Jeff Kinney. Liz Pichon, the highest-charting female author after Hawkins, hits 29th place with her Tom Gates titles DogZombies Rule (for Now) (Scholastic).
Non-fiction is rather overlooked by library patrons: the highest charting non-fiction title is Bill Bryson’s The Road to Little Dribbling (Doubleday), published in 2015, which in 139th place is the only non-fiction book in the top 500, with a lending rate of 4,685 times. Joe Wicks’ Lean in 15 trilogy follows it in places 564th to 775th.
The figures are taken from 70 public UK library authorities and more than 1,930 individual branches that Nielsen LibScan covers.
|TITLE||AUTHOR||IMPRINT||ISBN (978+)||LENDING RATE|
|1||Night School||Lee Child||Bantam||0593073902||17,537|
|2||The Girl on the Train||Paula Hawkins||Doubleday||0857522313||12,878|
|3||This Was a Man||Jeffrey Archer||Macmillan||1447252245||12,763|
|4||The Wrong Side of Goodbye||Michael Connelly||Orion||1409145530||11,654|
|5||The Whistler||John Grisham||Hodder & Stoughton||1444791105||10,795|
|6||Rather Be the Devil||Ian Rankin||Orion||1409159407||10,758|
|7||Double Down||Jeff Kinney||Puffin||0141373010||10,595|
|8||Make Me||Lee Child||Bantam||0593073889||9,180|
|9||Old School||Jeff Kinney||Puffin||0141364728||8,989|
|10||The Midnight Gang||David Walliams||HarperCollins Children's||0008164614||8,907|
|11||The World's Worst Children||David Walliams||HarperCollins Children's||0008197032||8,648|
|12||Cross the Line||James Patterson||Century||1780892689||8,624|
|13||The Long Haul||Jeff Kinney||Puffin||0141354224||8,599|
|14||When the Music's Over||Peter Robinson||Hodder & Stoughton||1444786712||8,538|
|15||No Man's Land||David Baldacci||Macmillan||1447277484||8,532|
|17||Diary of a Wimpy Kid||Jeff Kinney||Puffin||0141324906||8,447|
|18||Cabin Fever||Jeff Kinney||Puffin||0141343006||8,201|
|19||Rodrick Rules||Jeff Kinney||Puffin||0141324913||8,006|