Are we that different than big city readers?

Recently, the New York Public Library released its list of books most frequently checked out by its patrons during 2020. They compiled the information into different categories, e.g. Young Adult, Childrens, International, etc.

To make a comparison between our adult readers and those in New York City, we asked them to separate the adult fiction books and they were kind enough to do so. The majority of our adult books being checked out are in the fiction category so we thought we could get a fairly good comparison with that one group.

For the NYPL’s complete set of lists on what the big city folks are reading, go to

First, here are the fiction books that were the most popular with New York library patrons:

  • The Vanishing Half: A novel by Brit Bennett
  • The Glass Hotel: A novel by Emily St. John Mandel
  • The Dutch House: A novel by Ann Patchett
  • The Nickel Boys (Winner 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction): A novel by Colson Whitehead
  • Where the Crawdads Sing: A novel by Delia Owens
  • Normal People: A novel by Sally Rooney
  • My Dark Vanessa: A novel by Kate Elizabeth Russell
  • All Adults Here: A novel by Emma Straub
  • The Testaments: A novel by Margaret Atwood
  • The Water Dancer: A novel by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Now, here are the books that were checked out most often by Charles Town Library patrons:

  • Fair Warning: A novel by Michael Connelly
  • The Night Fire: A novel by Michael Connelly
  • One Minute Out: A novel by Mark Greaney
  • Walk the Wire: A novel by David Baldacci
  • 28 Summers: A novel by Elin Hilderbrand
  • Credible Threat: A novel by Judith A. Jance
  • A Minute to Midnight: A novel by David Baldacci
  • Elevator Pitch: A novel by Linwood Barclay
  • The End of Her: A novel by Shari Lapena
  • The Guest List: A novel by Lucy Foley

    (Note: There were a number of James Patterson books that ranked high on our local list and would have topped the list of Top 10 authors if they were combined)

Obviously, there are no common books on these two lists but when you look at the books checked out at the Queens Branch of the New York Public Library, you do get a bit of a different look, more of a closer match to Jefferson County tastes:

  • 1. The Guardians by John Grisham
  • 2. Moral Compass by Danielle Steel
  • 3. Becoming by Michelle Obama
  • 4. Lost by James Patterson
  • 5. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  • 6. A Minute to Midnight by David Baldacci
  • 7. Educated by Tara Westover
  • 8. Criss Cross by James Patterson
  • 9. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  • 10. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

    (Note: This list also includes the non-fiction books that made their Top 10)

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