All 20 of the most borrowed books in Irish public libraries in 2018 were children’s books, according to statistics released by the Local Government Management Agency.
Despite being first released in 1997, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone" still holds sway over Irish children and was the most borrowed book in 2018.
In total, three of JK Rowling’s works made the top five, with "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" and "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" taking fourth and fifth place respectively.
In second and third place, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School" by Jeff Kinney and "BFG" by Roald Dahl complete the top five.
Five separate "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" books feature in the top 20 most borrowed books, while Dahl has four entries in the top 20.
However, it is the comedian and Britain’s Got Talent Judge David Walliams who is the most recurring author on the list. Six of Walliams’ works were among the top 20 books last year, with 18 of the top 20 most borrowed books made up of works by Walliams, Kinney, Dahl, and Rowling.
Marita Conlon McKenna was the sole Irish author to have a book feature in the top 20 most popular library books with "Under the Hawthorn Tree" just about squeezing in.
The most popular adult book in libraries last year was "Solar Bones" by Irish author Mike McCormack. The 2016 novel finished as the most commonly borrowed adult book ahead of Graham Norton’s "Holding" and "Lying in Wait" by Liz Nugent to complete a top three comprised of Irish authors.
American author James Patterson was the most popular adult author and was the only such author to feature in the top 20 most borrowed authors. In a list headed by Roderick Hunt, author of the "Magic Key," Patterson finished as the 6th most commonly borrowed author.
Chair of the National Libraries development committee Tom Enright said that the volume of children’s literature borrowed in 2018 was a very positive sign, saying that he was “very encouraged to see so many children’s books and children’s authors on the list.”
Top 20 Books Borrowed in Irish Public Libraries 2018:
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School by Jeff Kinney
- The BFG by Roald Dahl
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down by Jeff Kinney
- Awful Auntie by David Walliams
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck by Jeff Kinney
- Wonder by RJ Palacio
- James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
- Ratburger by David Walliams
- Matilda by Roald Dahl
- The World's Worst Children by David Walliams
- Gangsta Granny by David Walliams
- Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl
- Demon Dentist by David Walliams
- Diary of a Wimpy: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney
- Grandpa's Great Escape by David Walliams
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney
- Under the Hawthorn Tree by Marita Conlon-McKenna
Adult Books - Top 20 Books Borrowed in Irish Public Libraries 2018:
- Solar Bones by Mike McCormack
- Holding by Graham Norton
- Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent
- Guinness World Records 2018 by Guinness World Records 2018
- The Break by Marian Keyes
- The Midnight Line (Jack Reacher 22) by Lee Child
- Woman in the Window by A J Finn
- The Long Gaze Back: An Anthology of Irish Women Writers edited by Sinead Gleeson
- Skin Deep by Liz Nugent
- The Plan by Aoife Hearne
- Night School (Jack Reacher 21) by Lee Child
- The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
- Karl Henry's Healthy Living Handbook by Karl Henry
- Driver Theory Test by Road Safety Authority
- The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly
- Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
- Mindful Walking: Walk Your Way to Mental and Physical Well-Being by Hugh O’Donovan
- The Whistler by John Grisham
- Smile by Roddy Doyle
Top 20 Authors Borrowed in Irish Public Libraries 2018:
- Roderick Hunt
- Roger Hargreaves
- Daisy Meadows
- Francesca Simon
- Julia Donaldson
- James Patterson
- Enid Blyton
- Roald Dahl
- Jacqueline Wilson
- Dorling Kindersley (Publisher)
- David Walliams
- Jeff Kinney
- Michael Morpurgo
- Adam Blade
- JK Rowling
- Dav Pilkey
- Holly Webb
- Liz Pichon
- Rachel Renee Russell
- Dr. Seuss
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*Originally published in 2019, updated in September 2020.
Have you read any on the list? Which are your favorites? Let us know in the comments section, below.