The Grumpy Taxpayer$ non-profit group is hosting its 2019 Annual General Meeting at the downtown Greater Victoria Public Library on Nov. 27. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Greater Victoria libraries list most popular titles of 2020

Old releases such as Little Women crack Top 10 list as readers turn to digital sources

Did you bury your nose in a few books this year? Many who visited the Greater Victoria Public Library’s (GVPL) 12 branches distracted themselves from the unusual events of 2020 with a good book or two – some new and some old favourites.

On Dec. 31, the GVPL released the titles of the most popular books of 2020. Millions of items – from books to DVDs to art supplies – are borrowed from the branches across the Capital Regional District each year and staff track the trends to see what library card-holders liked most.

READ ALSO: Greater Victoria library highlights free digital entertainment offerings for at-home holiday season

The GVPL’s 2020 lists show the most-borrowed adult fiction, adult non-fiction, children’s and teen books – whether they be physical copies, large-print, ebooks or audiobooks.

The most borrowed adult fiction book was Where the Crawdads Sing – published in 2018 and written by American author Delia Owens – the book was also among the GVPL’s top books of 2019. Titles by Canadian Authors, Margaret Atwood, Emily St. John Mandel and Louise Penny also ranked in the top 10 – Penny made the list twice with her books All the devils are here and A better man.

READ ALSO: Greater Victoria libraries shut doors until further notice

Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2018 memoir, Becoming, was once again the most popular adult non-fiction book of the year. Her husband Barack Obama’s 2020 memoir, A Promised Land, ranked third.

Children and teens looked to series, trilogies and older novels to pass the time this year. Louisa May Alcott’s 1868/69 novel, Little Women was the oldest book to crack any of the GVPL lists and ranked fifth on the children’s list. Markus Zusak’s 15-year-old release The Book Thief topped the teen list for 2020. J.K. Rowling’s 1997 release Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone ranked first on the children’s list and nabbed the fifth-place spot on the teen list.

The most-borrowed lists for this year included many books published in previous years and the GVPL staff noted this may have been because the older titles were accessible online. As a result of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, GVPL branches were closed and readers logged in to online sources and, according to staff, the circulation of digital items increased by more than 92 per cent.

READ ALSO: What people are reading, watching and learning from local libraries during COVID-19

Anyone interested in signing up for a library card can do so online at www.gvpl.ca/get-a-library-card/ and those in need of assistance with the GVPL’s digital borrowing platforms can visit www.gvpl.ca/help.

Most Borrowed Books of 2020

Adult Fiction:

1. Where the crawdads sing by Delia Owens

2. Blue moon by Lee Child

3. The night fire by Michael Connelly

4. The testaments by Margaret Atwood

5. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

6. All the devils are here by Louise Penny

7. American dirt by Jeanine Cummins

8. The glass hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

9. Agent running in the field by John Le Carré

10. A better man by Louise Penny

Adult Non-Fiction:

1. Becoming by Michelle Obama

2. Talking to strangers: what we should know about the people we don’t know by Malcolm Gladwell

3. A promised land by Barack Obama

4. The body: a guide for occupants by Bill Bryson

5. Untamed by Glennon Doyle

6. Braiding sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

7. Educated: a memoir by Tara Westover

8. Atomic habits: tiny changes, remarkable results: an easy & proven way to build good habits & break bad ones by James Clear

9. From the ashes: my story of being Métis, homeless, and finding my way by Jesse Thistle

10. Catch and kill: lies, spies, and a conspiracy to protect predators by Ronan Farrow

Children (each series only appears once):

1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, plus others from the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

2. Guts by Raina Telgemeier

3. Wrecking ball, plus others from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney

4. Minecraft guide to farming by Alex Wiltshire

5. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

6. The Good Egg by Jory John and Pete Oswald

7. Matilda by Roald Dahl

8. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery,

9. Waiting is not easy! by Mo Willems

10. Bad kitty goes to the vet by Nick Bruel

Teen (each series only appears once):

1. The book thief by Markus Zusak

2. The ballad of songbirds and snakes by Suzanne Collins

3. The hate u give by Angie Thomas

4. The secret commonwealth by Philip Pullman

5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, plus others from the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

6. The queen of nothing by Holly Black

7. Children of blood and bone by Tomi Adeyemi

8. The giver by Lois Lowry

9. One of us is next by Karen M. McManus

10. Throne of glass by Sarah J. Maas


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

BooksGreater Victoria Public LibraryGVPL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Construction was temporarily halted at Colwood’s Royal Bay on Monday, Jan. 18, after crews hit a natural gas line just before 9 a.m. (Black Press Media file photo)
No danger to public after gas leak in Colwood’s Royal Bay

Construction crews hit natural gas line just before 9 a.m.

A 45-metre tall call tower is proposed for Westhills Stadium. (Black Press Media file photo)
New cell tower proposed for Westhills Stadium in Langford

Tower will increase capacity in congested network: staff report

The new Malahat Skywalk is expected to be completed by this summer. (Submitted graphic)
Malahat Skywalk expected to be complete by this summer

$15-million project will see 650-metre elevated wooden pathway constructed

An Oak Bay Police officer handed out five tickets for “fail to obey stop sign” and two tickets for using a cell phone while driving, all within two hours at King George Terrace on Jan. 11. (Oak Bay Police Twitter)
Man confronts unmasked group at Oak Bay Marina

Oak Bay police issue plenty of tickets in short King George Terrace visit

Sequoia Coastal Coffee, the first coffee shop in Colwood’s Royal Bay neighbourhood, is temporarily closed after an employee tested positive for COVID-19 on Jan. 16. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood coffee shop shuts down after employee tests positive for COVID-19

Sequoia Coastal Coffee closed since Saturday, Jan. 16

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Mount Arrowsmith. Three skiers were rescued from the south side of the mountain on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021 with one woman taken to hospital in Comox. (Nancy Randall photo)
Injured skier among three rescued in the dark from Mount Arrowsmith

‘It was a very bad, very precarious spot to be able to locate them’

(Black Press Media file photo)
From arts to environment, nominate your West Shore hero

Nominations for the Goldstream Gazette’s Local Hero awards are open to Jan. 15

Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons was appointed to the NDP cabinet as minister of social development and poverty reduction after the October 2020 B.C. election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. job training fund increased for developmentally disabled

COVID-19 has affected 1,100 ‘precariously employed’ people

B.C. driver’s licence and identity cards incorporate medical services, but the passport option for land crossings is being phased out. (B.C. government)
B.C. abandons border ID cards built into driver’s licence

$35 option costing ICBC millions as demand dwindles

Submitted photo of Town Park C Block apartment fire.
Apartment fire in Port Hardy forces residents to jump from building

‘Multiple people were transported to the hospital with injuries from falling’

sdf
2nd in-school violence incident in Mission, B.C, ends in arrest

RCMP notified of local Instagram page with videos (now deleted) showing student assaults, bullying

BC Emergency Health Services has deployed the Major Incident Response Team (MIRRT) as COVID-19 positive cases rise in the Williams Lake region. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
B.C.’s rapid response paramedics deployed to Williams Lake as COVID-19 cases climb

BC Emergency Health Services has sent a Major Incident Rapid Response Team to the lakecity

(Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
RCMP say ice climber seriously injured after reportedly falling 12 metres near Abraham Lake

Police say man’s injuries were serious but not life-threatening

Most Read