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Librarian Blog

Top checkouts in non-fiction

On Wednesday, I blogged about the most-checked-out fictional works during the first half of 2014.

Today, the top non-fiction checkouts: No. 1 is "Trapped Under the Sea" by Neil Swidey. No. 2 is "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War" by Robert Gates. No other books came close.

I don't know how those compare to the top sellers for the first six months, nationwide.

Our own "best sellers"

The last blog was about the Top 20 best-sellers according to Nielsen.

Today, I'm bringing you the local story.

"Missing You" by Harlan Coben is the book that was most checked out by patrons in the first six months of this year.

We have four copies of that book, and they have been checked out a total of 34 times. Demand seems to be cooling off, because we now have one book available on the shelf.

"Gods of Guilt" by Michael Connelly is No. 2 with 30 total checkouts.

At the No. 3 slot, we had a tie between "Take Down 21" and "Killer" with 19 each.

In Friday's blog I'll write about the top nonfiction books checked out in the first six months.

Want to help out?

We're looking for adults who are interested in volunteering here at the library on a regular basis.

Specifically, we are in need of help on Tuesday mornings and Thursday afternoons. Morning shifts are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Afternoon shifts are from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

No experience in libraries is necessary.

What we'll have you doing is checking in and checking out materials and some shelving if you can do so.

If you are or someone you know is interested, please contact me at 512-847-2188 or come by the library and fill out a form.

 

The 'young adult' phenomenon

The Nielsen list of the top 20 best-selling books in the first half of this year is out.

And the news is that young adult books dominate the list, starting with "Divergent" by Veronica Roth and "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green. "Fault" is No. 2 in paperback, No. 5 in hard-cover and No. 6 in its movie tie-in version.

Roth's other two books, "Insurgent" and "Allegient" are at No. 3 and No. 4 respectively.

Five of the Top 20 are some version of "Frozen."

The highest ranking work of nonfiction was Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling." And the highest rank for a work of "serious" literature was No. 20 for the Pulitzer-Prize winning "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt.

So, it's tempting to jump to the conclusion that -- wow! -- those teens are just reading up a storm, aren't they?

Well, nobody really knows. But, we librarians do know that a whole lot of the people who have checked out "The Fault in Our Stars" were not young adults at all. They were folks who don't have to be carded when they buy cigarettes or booze.

Another interesting finding

Another finding from Pew Center research efforts about books should help the book publishing industry get a better grasp on what people are thinking when they want to borrow a book from a library.

Right now, several big publishers will not sell e-books to libraries, period. Their contention is that if people can borrow e-books from a library, they won't buy hard copies, and eventually the real book market will dry up.

But, Pew has found that of the 78 percent of adult Americans who read a book in the previous year (2010) a majority of print readers and readers of e-books said they prefer to buy their own copies of those books rather than borrow them.