Hawkins' Girl on the Train named UK's most borrowed library book

Hawkins' Girl on the Train named UK's most borrowed library book

Paula Hawkins' The Girl on the Train (Transworld) is the UK's most often loaned library book of 2016/17, according to the latest Public Lending Right (PLR) data, marking the second consecutive year the psychological thriller has steamed into first place.

The book earned two spots in its Top 10 most borrowed titles list for 2016/17 with the hardback edition of Hawkins’ debut novel, published by Doubleday, taking the chart's top spot with 71,000 loans, while the paperback edition seized sixth place.

The book, which enjoyed the longest run in Original Fiction's number one spot since Nielsen records began, was most popular in London, Scotland and Wales according to the regional breakdown. Meanwhile Lee Child - whose titles Make Me (hardback edition), Night School, Personal and Make Me again (paperback edition) respectively bagged second, third, fourth and fifth place - proved a special hit in the North East and Yorkshire & The Humber, and the West Midlands.

Thrillers continue to feature heavily among UK libraries' most checked-out books with James Patterson crowned the most borrowed author ultimately for the 11th year running. He has held the title since 2006/7 during which time his books have been borrowed a whopping 22 million times. During 2016-17 his books were meanwhile loaned over two million times, with the author’s most-borrowed single title Bullseye. Patterson, while commenting on his popularity with UK readers, heaped praise on libraries as "an integral part of any community" and "essential in helping to share and spread the joy of reading".

Children's authors also hold a special place in UK library borrowers' hearts, however, taking four of the top five spots on PLR's most borrowed authors list for 2016/17. Maintaining their positions on the year before, former children's laureate and author of The Gruffalo Julia Donaldson, also the most borrowed children's author of 2016/17, clung to second place, and Rainbow Magic books' Daisy Meadows remained in third. Roald Dahl, the most borrowed "classic" author, surged into fourth place, and Roderick Hunt was listed fifth. Each of them clocked up over a million loans in 2016-2017.

David Walliams, the eighth most borrowed children's author of 2016/17, meanwhile dominated UK libraries' audio borrows. His books - Grandpa’s Great Escape, Awful Auntie, Gangsta Granny, Ratburger and Billionaire Boy - held the top five places in PLR's most borrowed audio titles list.

The single most borrowed children's title was Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School by Jeff Kinney, loaned 40,000 times.

No non-fiction made it into the top 10 of the most-borrowed individual titles. Bill Bryson was however the most-borrowed non-fiction author with The Road to Little Dribbling (Doubleday) and occupying first and second place in its hardback and paperback editions. The hardback, in first place, was loaned 27,000 times. Joe Wicks also got a look in with Lean in 15: The Shape Plan (Bluebird) and Lean in 15: The Shift Plan (Bluebird) occupying second and fourth place, and The Life-changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo (Vermilion) rounding off the top five non-fiction borrows list in fifth.

In February 2018 PLR distributed £6 million to 22,108 authors at a Rate Per Loan of 8.20p. A new change to PLR came into effect on 1st July 2018 when the PLR office started to collect remote e-book loans data. Any payments arising from the newly eligible loans will be made for the first time in February 2020. "It is excellent news that the Government is backing a PLR fit for the 21st century," said Tom Holland, chair of the PLR Advisory Committee, commenting on the changes. "This will be hugely to the benefit of authors, who are fully aware that printed books these days are not the only way of reaching their readers."

CIPFA figures showed the total number of loans in 2016/17 at 193 million, down 6.3% from 206 million the previous year.