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Most Borrowed Books of 2020

Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 22/02/2021. Most Borrowed Books of 2020Tags: Parenting Teachers

Details of the 20 books and authors borrowed most often from Irish public libraries in 2020 have been published by the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA), ahead of Ireland Reads Day, a national day of reading this Thursday, February 25th. 

The LGMA compiles the information as part of the Public Lending Remuneration (PLR) Scheme. The 20 eBooks and eAudiobooks borrowed most often from Irish Libraries via the Borrowbox service have also been published.

Ireland Reads Day – Thursday 25

Irish libraries have teamed up with publishers, booksellers, authors and others for the Ireland Reads campaign, which aims to get everyone reading this Thursday, February 25th. A new website has been set up where people can pledge to ‘squeeze in a read’ on the day and get book recommendations suited to their interests and time available. There are more than 800 recommendations from librarians all around the country.

A number of Ireland Reads online events are scheduled this week including ‘The Great Escape’ hosted by Rick O’Shea whose guests including author, Sebastian Barry; Professor Luke O’Neill; librarian, Catherine Gallagher; and, reading advocate Sarah Fitzgerald will discuss how reading has helped in lockdown. The National Adult Literacy Agency is also hosting an event looking at the science behind the benefits of reading, while Laureate na nÓg Aine Ni Ghlinn will host an Irish language discussion exploring the joy of reading in Irish for pleasure. Full details are available at

Most borrowed books

Seventeen of the twenty most borrowed books in 2020 are children’s titles with Roderick Hunt the most popular author and the classic Mr Men collection proving the most popular book. Classic stories remain among children’s favourites with renowned authors such as Enid Blyton, Roger Hargreaves and Roald Dahl in the top twenty list of children’s authors, alongside Daisy Meadows, Francesca Simon, and Jacqueline Wilson.

When books aimed at adults are separated out, James Patterson tops the list of the 20 most popular authors for the third time in a row, while Blue Moon by Lee Child was the most borrowed adult title in 2020. It seems we all still love a good mystery with other thriller and crime writers such as Michael Connelly, Liz Nugent, Harlan Coben and Agatha Christie among the most popular authors with library members.

Unsurprisingly, given the phenomenal success of the TV adaptation, Normal People by Sally Rooney was the most downloaded eBook by library members, while Becoming by Michelle Obama was the most popular eAudiobook.

Irish authors are in high demand with library members; 11 of the 20 most popular adult books are by Irish authors while 5 of the 20 most popular authors for adults are Irish authors.

Fifteen of the twenty most popular adult books are by female authors, and female authors are also in the majority in the most popular eBook and eAudiobook lists.

The impact of the Dublin City Libraries ‘One City One Book’ initiative is clear. The 2020 One City One Book choice Tatty by Christine Dwyer Hickey is included in the top 20 most borrowed books for adults, eBooks and eAudiobooks lists.


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