CHECK THEM OUT

The most popular books at US public libraries this year, mapped by city

Hollywood has been good to Paula Hawkins. Following the release of a movie adapted from her novel, The Girl on the Train, the book has become one of the most widely read books at US libraries this year.

A survey of 14 metropolitan libraries by Quartz shows that The Girl on the Train is the most checked-out book at eight of them, and the most checked-out work of fiction at 11.

There was also a strong Wimpy grip on children’s reading in 2016. Jeff Kinney’s series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, is the top book for kids in seven of the 12 cities that provided children’s breakouts.

Some books’ popularity were driven by library initiatives. For instance, the San Francisco Public Library’s “One City One Book” program encouraged its patrons to read Season of the Witch by David Talbot, shooting it to the top of its most popular book list.

Other books’ popularity are driven by adjacent corners of culture. Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton was the most borrowed nonfiction work in Baltimore. The book was the basis and inspiration for the Tony-award-winning play Hamilton.

Here are the top five books for each category at each library that responded to our requests:

The most popular fiction books of 2016

Austin Baltimore Boston Charlotte Dallas Denver Nashville New York San Antonio San Diego San Francisco Seattle Washington
1 The Girl on The Train, Paula Hawkins The Girl on The Train, Paula Hawkins All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr Rogue Lawyer, John Grisham The Girl on The Train, Paula Hawkins The Girl on The Train, Paula Hawkins The Girl on The Train, Paula Hawkins The Girl on The Train, Paula Hawkins The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins The Girl on The Train, Paula Hawkins The Girl on The Train, Paula Hawkins The Girl on The Train, Paula Hawkins The Girl on The Train, Paula Hawkins
2 All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr Wilde Lake, Laura Lippman The Girl on The Train, Paula Hawkins The Girl on The Train, Paula Hawkins All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr Rogue Lawyer, John Grisham Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee The Book Thief, Markus Zusak All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr Tao Bao Bao Jian, Dayan All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
3 Tricky Twenty-two, Janet Evanovich The Last Mile, David Baldacci Fates and Furies, Lauren Groff My Name is Lucy Barton, Elizaveth Strout The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah To Kill a Mocking Bird, Harper Lee Me Before You, Jojo Moyes Rogue Lawyer, John Grisham All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr Fates and Furies, Lauren Groff The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz
4 The Last Mile, David Baldacci Tricky Twenty-two, Janet Evanovich My Brilliant Friend, Elana Ferrante The Guilty, David Baldacci Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee My name is Lucy Barton, Elizabeth Strout Gray Mountain, John Grisham The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee Tricky Twenty-two, Janet Evanovich My name is Lucy Barton, Elizabeth Strout Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
5 The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah NYPD Red 4, James Patterson Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr Alert, James Patterson The Japanese Lover, Isabel Allende Cross Justice, James Patterson All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr The Last Mile, David Baldacci The Crossing, Michael Connelly Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah Fates and Furies, Lauren Groff

The most popular nonfiction books of 2016

Austin Baltimore Boston Charlotte Dallas Denver Nashville New York San Antonio San Diego San Francisco Seattle Washington
1 The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Marie Kondo Alexander Hamilton, Ron Chernow Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Marie Kondo Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up, Marie Kondo The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Marie Kondo Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates Guinness World Records 2016, – When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi Season of the Witch, David Talbot Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
2 Being Moral: Medicine and What Matters in the End, Atul Gawande The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Marie Kondo The Boys in the Boat, Daniel Brown The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Marie Kondo Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, Erik Larson The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Marie Kondo Why Not Me?, Mindy Kaling When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Marie Kondo The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Marie Kondo The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Marie Kondo The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Marie Kondo Modern Romance, Aziz Ansari
3 Modern Romance, Aziz Ansari Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up, Marie Kondo When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, Atul Gawande When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi Yes Please, Amy Poehler Why Not Me, Mindy Kaling Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up, Marie Kondo Guinness World Records 2016, – not provided When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Marie Kondo
4 Rising Strong, Brené Brown Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency, Bill O’Reilly Modern Romance, Aziz Ansari Dimestore, Lee Smith Big Magic: Creative living beyond fear, Elizabeth Gilbert Modern Romance, Aziz Ansari Modern Romance, Aziz Ansari The Train to Crystal City: FDR’s Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America’s Only Family Internment Camp During World War II, Jan Jarboe Russell Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates Being Moral: Medicine and What Matters in the End, Atul Gawande When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi
5 Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, Susan Cain Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, Leah Remini The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Marie Kondo Being Moral: Medicine and What Matters in the End, Atul Gawande Rising Strong, Brené Brown When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Marie Kondo The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race, Jesmyn Ward Waiting for Snow in Havana, Carlos MN Eire Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up, Marie Kondo Mindy Kaling, Why Not Me?

The most popular children’s books of 2016

Austin Baltimore Boston Charlotte Dallas Denver Nashville New York San Antonio San Diego San Francisco Seattle Washington
1 Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The Long Haul, Jeff Kinney Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Old School, Jeff Kinney Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Cabin Fever, Jeff Kinney Big Nate Blasts Off, Lincoln Peirce Pokemon Adventures, Hidenori Kusaka The Pigeon Needs a Bath!, Mo Willems Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Old School, Jeff Kinney Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Old School, Jeff Kinney Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Old School, Jeff Kinney Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, Jeff Kinney not provided Pigs Make Me Sneeze!, Mo Willems not provided
2 Lets Go for a Drive, Mo Willems Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Parts One and Two, JK Rowling Wonder, RJ Palacio Big Nate Lives it Up, Lincoln Peirce Bob Books Set 1, – Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Old School, Jeff Kinney Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The Long Haul, Jeff Kinney Harry Potter and the Socerer’s Stone, JK Rowling Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Parts One and Two, JK Rowling Green Eggs and Ham, Dr. Seuss Are You Ready to Play Outside?, Mo Willems
3 My New Friend is so Fun, Mo Willems Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 1, Rick Riordan Sisters, Raina Telgemeier Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Old School, Jeff Kinney Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Old School, Jeff Kinney Harry Potter and the Socerer’s Stone, JK Rowling Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, JK Rowling Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Parts One and Two, JK Rowling Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The Long Haul, Jeff Kinney Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Rodrick Rules, Jeff Kinney There’s a bird on your head!, Mo Willems
4 Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Cabin Fever, Jeff Kinney Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The Long Haul, Jeff Kinney A big guy took my ball!, Mo Willems High Time for Heroes, Mary Pope Osborne Diary of a Wimpy Kid.The Long Haul, Jeff Kinney I Really Like Slop!, Mo Willems Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkiban, JK Rowling Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Hard Luck, Jeff Kinney Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The Last Straw, Jeff Kinney I love my new toy!, Mo Willems
5 Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Hard Luck, Jeff Kinney The BFG, Roald Dahl One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish, Dr. Seuss Tales from a Not So Dorky Drama Queen, Rachel Renee Russell Lego Ninjago, Masters of Spinjitzu, Tracey West Waiting is not Easy!, Mo Willems Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, JK Rowling Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The Long Haul, Jeff Kinney Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Dog Days, Jeff Kinney Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The Ugly Truth, Jeff Kinney I broke my trunk!, Mo Willems

The number of times a book can be checked out is, of course, limited by the library’s inventory, the speed at which local patrons complete and return books, and the efficiency of library staff in recirculating the title.

The public libraries of Memphis, Philadelphia, San Jose, Houston, Chicago, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, and Phoenix did not provide Quartz with suitable rankings prior to publication.

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