Mysteries, Canadian fiction top Island library stacks in 2017

Vancouver Islanders love their mysteries and award-winning Canadian fiction, according to library statistics for 2017.

The Island’s libraries have released their annual lists of the most-read books, providing a glimpse into the minds and interests of local readers.

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“The big blockbuster books and those in series are always popular, but there are some surprises,” said Rina Hadziev, the collections and technical services co-ordinator at the Greater Victoria Public Library.

“In general, the thought that print was dead was greatly exaggerated. Books are here to stay — which doesn’t come as a shock to any of us writers or book lovers.”

The 10 most borrowed books at GVPL last year were all fiction books, with Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien topping the list. The novel was also the second most popular fiction book across Vancouver Island Regional Library locations.

“This book won the Giller and a Governor General’s Award in 2016 and was nominated for a Man Booker Prize,” Hadziev said. “I’m sure it was on a lot of book club lists and the trend, in Victoria at least, is that a few of the top books tend to be award-winners.”

Hadziev she was pleased to see Paula Hawkins’ Into the Water on the list. The book is a followup to her hugely popular debut Girl on a Train.

The most popular fiction book at VIRL branches was Night School by Lee Child, while the most popular non-fiction book was Being Mortal: Medicine and what matters in the end by Atul Gawande.

Hadziev said this year’s list is fairly traditional for residents of Greater Victoria.

“We are a literate community and like a mix of Canadians and usually a few Brits. Authors with good series are also popular,” she said, adding that while they might not be the top read, self-published and emerging authors are getting more exposure to wider library audiences “through e-books and other platforms that make them more accessible.”

Hadziev said if she had to predict the coming year’s big hits based on what’s being published and what’s firing up the holds right now, she’d say “Michael Redhill’s Bellevue Square is really high on the list.” Hadziev noted popular authors such as John Grisham, Lee Child and Michael Connelly — who all appeared on both the GVPL and VIRL lists — also have new releases.

The Greater Victoria Public Library system has branches in Victoria, Saanich, Oak Bay, Esquimalt, Central Saanich, Langford and Colwood. The rest of the Island, including Sooke, North Saanich and Sidney, is served by the Vancouver Island Regional Library system.

Visits to Greater Victoria libraries were slightly down in 2017, with a preliminary estimate of 2,477,584 in-person visits.In 2016,were 2,483,218 visits to local libraries.

 spetrescu@timescolonist.com

Greater Victoria Public Library

Most-borrowed books of 2017

1. Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

2. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

3. The Whistler by John Grisham

4. Camino Island by John Grisham

5. Night School by Lee Child

6. The Late Show by Michael Connelly

7. The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly

8. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

9. The Fix by David Baldacci

10. A Great Reckoning by Louise Penn

Most-borrowed non-fiction books of 2017

1. The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living Book by Meik Wiking

2. Born a crime: Stories from a South African childhood by Trevor Noah

3. The Stranger in the Woods: The extraordinary story of the last true hermit by Michael Finkel

4. How to Hygge: The Nordic secrets to a happy life by Signe Johansen

5. The hidden life of trees: What they feel, how they communicate: Discoveries from a secret world by Peter Wohlleben

6. What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton

7. Hillbilly elegy: A memoir of a family and culture in crisis by J.D. Vance

8. The Undoing Project: A friendship that changed our minds

9. Oh She Glows Every Day: Quick and simply satisfying plant-based recipes by Angela Liddon

10. The life-changing magic of tidying up: The Japanese art of decluttering and organizing by Marie Kondo

Most-borrowed children’s books of 2017

1. The Thank You Book by Mo Willems

2. I Will Take a Nap! by Mo Willems

3. I Really Like Slop! by Mo Willems

4. Bad Kitty Goes to the Vet by Nick Bruel

5. Waiting is Not Easy! by Mo Willems

6. Wonder by R.J. Palacio

7. My New Friend is So Fun! by Mo Willems

8. There’s a Bird on Your Head by Mo Willems

9. Dog Man Unleashed by Dav Pilkey

10. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down by Jeff Kinney (tied)

10. Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier (tied)

Vancouver Island Regional Library

Most-borrowed fiction books of 2017

1. Night School by Lee Child

2. Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

3. No Man’s Island by David Baldacci

4. Home by Harlan Coben

5. A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny

6. The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly

7. The Whistler by John Grisham

8. The Last Mile by David Baldacci

9. Rather Be the Devil by Ian Rankin

10. This was a man: The final volume of the Clifton Chronicles by Jeffrey Archer

Most-borrowed non-fiction books of 2017

1. Being mortal: Medicine and what matters in the end by Atul Gawande

2. The life-changing magic of tidying up: The Japanese art of decluttering and organizing by Marie Kondo

3. The hidden life of trees: What they feel, how they communicate : discoveries from a secret world by Peter Wohlleben

4. The inconvenient Indian: A curious account of Native people in North America by Thomas King

5. Forever painless: Lasting relief through gentle movement by Miranda Esmonde-White

6. Born a crime: Stories from a South African childhood by Trevor Noah

7. When breath becomes air by Paul Kalanithi

8. The road to Little Dribbling: More notes from a small island by Bill Bryson

9. Hillbilly elegy: A memoir of a family and culture in crisis by J.D. Vance

10. Aging backward: 10 years younger, 10 years lighter, 30 minutes a day by Miranda Esmonde-White

Most-borrowed children’s books of 2017

1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down by Jeff Kinney

2. The Wizard’s Wand: The ninth adventure in the Kingdom of Fantasy by Geronimo Stilton

3. Thea Stilton and the Madagascar Madness by Thea Stilton

4. Magical Mission by Geronimo Stilton

5. Dork Diaries 11: Tales from a Not-So-Friendly Frenemy by Rachel Renée Russell

6. I Really Like Slop! by Mo Willems

7. The Treasure of the Sea by Geronimo Stilton

8. Ready, Set, Go! by Robert N. Munsch

9. I Will Take a Nap! by Mo Willems

10. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School by Jeff Kinney

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