Monday, March 4, 2024

Christchurch bookworms thrive in lockdown

Christchurch’s prolific book and audio borrowers are keeping city libraries busy, borrowing more than 4 million items in the last year.

In total, Christchurch City Libraries issued 3,387,207 books in the 12 months to the end of November and a further 450,651 eBooks in the same period.

The eBook issues marked a massive jump – boosted by the COVID-19-enforced lockdown – from 344,215 in the previous 12 months.

Equally, eAudio lending also climbed, from 155,842 during the previous period to 208,933 in the last year.

Christchurch City Council Head of Libraries and Information Carolyn Robertson says the “appetite for books and online reading and audio resources shows no sign of waning”.

“Our lending levels are strong following high demand for e-books and e-audio and a jump in membership during the lockdown period,” Ms Robertson says.

“With all our libraries open again and people recognising the value of a great read, we expect book, eBook and eAudio borrowers to be out in force over the holiday period, browsing our packed shelves and online offerings.

“Thriller writer Lee Child continues his reign as the most in-demand author in adult fiction while the tales of Harry Potter and a Wimpy Kid still weave their magic with young readers.

“Interestingly, autobiographies by a former American First Lady and a lady in waiting to the Queen have also proved to be very popular with book borrowers.”

Well-known names lead the library waitlist, with Lee and Andrew Child’s Sentinel the most requested, followed by chef Chelsea Winter’s Supergood, Kiwi Rose Carlyle’s debut novel, The Girl in the Mirror, and David Walliams’ The World’s Worst Parents.

Overall, the 10 most popular adult fiction books are Lee Child’s Blue Moon and Past Tense, followed by The Giver of Stars(Jojo Moyes), Under Currents (Nora Roberts), You’ll Never See Me Again (Lesley Pearce), Nine Perfect Strangers (Liane Moriarty), The Guardians (John Grisham), The Sun Sister (Lucinda Riley), Redemption (David Baldacci) and The Night Fire(Michael Connelly).

In the non-fiction category, Michelle Obama’s Becoming is on top, followed by Educated (Tara Westover), The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck (Mark Manson) and Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown (Anne Glenconner).

Kiwi authors are also popular, including Michelle Duff (Jacinda Ardern: The Story Behind an Extraordinary Leader) and Lilia Tarawa (Daughter of Gloriavale: My Life in a Religious Cult).

In the children’s section, J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is still firmly on top, followed by Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown 13 (Jeff Kinney) and Zog and the Flying Doctors (Julia Donaldson).

For young adults, Suzanne Collins’ Catching Fire is the most loved, followed by Divergent (Veronica Roth), Mighty Jack: Book 1 (Ben Hatke), City of Ashes: Book 2 (Cassandra Clare) and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (Jenny Han).

Check out the full most popular lists.

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