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North East library visitors turn to crime reveals latest borrowing chart

The annual list of the most popular title borrowed from libraries show the best-thumbed books are crime thrillers

Never Go Back by award-winning writer Lee Child
Never Go Back by award-winning writer Lee Child

Readers in the North East have turned to crime, according to the latest chart showing the most popular titles borrowed from public libraries.

Never Go Back, by Lee Child, topped the regional list for 2013-14, according to the Public Lending Right (PLR), which is based in Stockton.

The PLR gathers library lending data from around the country and then makes payments to authors depending on how many times their books have been borrowed.

For many of these authors, it seems, crime does pay.

“Overall,” state the PLR, “crime fiction and thrillers are hugely popular in the North East with all of the top 10 most borrowed books in the region belonging to this genre.”

Never Go Back is the 18th novel by British author Lee Child, whose real name is Jim Grant, to feature American investigator Jack Reacher.

A parent and child reading in a library
A parent and child reading in a library

His 17th Reacher novel, A Wanted Man, came eighth in the North East.

Four titles in the North East top 10 are by American thriller writer James Patterson, or co-authored by him, and the PLR reveal he was the most borrowed author in libraries across the UK for the eighth year running.

In the North East, The Hit by David Baldacci came second, Inferno by Dan Brown third and Six Years by Harlan Coben fourth.

The only other author to feature in the top 10 was American Karin Slaughter for Unseen, another story featuring Georgia investigator Will Trent.

Topping the UK chart was Inferno but the Lee Child titles came second and third and three Patterson titles also featured.

Standing out on the national list are two of Jeff Kinney’s ‘Wimpy Kid’ books, Diary of a Wimpy Kid at number four and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw at number six.

No children’s titles or romances crept into the North East top 10.

The PLR archive reveals that it was back in 2004 that the prolific Catherine Cookson, who died in 1998, was finally toppled from the top slot she had occupied for 17 years – by Jacqueline Wilson, writer of gritty fiction for girls.

This year the PLR will distribute £6m to 22,053 authors at a rate of 6.66 pence per loan.

Top 10 Library Books, North East

1 Never Go Back, Lee Child

2 The Hit, David Baldacci

3 Inferno, Dan Brown

4 Six Years, Harlan Coben

5 Second Honeymoon, James Patterson

6 Private Down Under, James Patterson & Michael White

7 Unseen, Karin Slaughter

8 A Wanted Man, Lee Child

9 Mistress, James Patterson & David Ellis

10 12th of Never, James Patterson & Maxine Paetr

Top 10 Library Books, UK

1 Inferno, Dan Brown

2 Never Go Back, Lee Child

3 A Wanted Man, Lee Child

4 Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Jeff Kinney

5 Private Down Under, James Patterson & Michael White

6 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw, Jeff Kinney

7 Six Years, Harlan Coben

8 Second Honeymoon, James Patterson

9 Mistress, James Patterson & David Ellis

10 The Dying Hours, Mark Billingham

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