These are the library books New Yorkers checked out the most in 2021

Posted On Tue, December 21, 2021 By

Posted On Tue, December 21, 2021 By In City Living

Images courtesy of NYPL

In another year dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, New Yorkers looked to the public library system for solace. New York City’s public libraries on Tuesday released their annual list of the most checked-out books of 2021. At the New York Public Library, which includes branches in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island, the most borrowed book for the second year in a row was Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half. In Brooklyn, Bennett’s novel also took the top spot. In Queens, the most borrowed book was The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah.

A Promised Land by Barack Obama, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson, and The Guest List: A Novel by Lucy Foley appeared on the top lists for each branch. Many of the top picks from 2020 made this year’s list as well.

According to the library, top picks can attribute their popularity to WNYC’s “Get Lit!” virtual book club partnership with the NYPL, which led to an increase in checkouts in books like The Vanishing Half.

2020 saw a sharp decrease in the number of physical copies borrowed due to the pandemic, but after full service was restored in July of 2021 and the system announced that they would be eliminating late fees in October, NYPL saw a 10 percent increase in checkouts towards the end of the year.

“This year’s top checkouts document what NYPL patrons were reading as they began turning the page on a difficult, historic chapter, ” Anthony W. Marx, president of the NYPL, said.

“These are the books that they chose when they returned to their local libraries, to read on their first trip in months, to keep them company as they got back to commuting. 2021 was a significant year, and the books that New Yorkers chose to read to accompany them on their journey through that year are equally significant.”

The New York Public Library (Bronx, Manhattan, & Staten Island):

Systemwide:

  1. The Vanishing Half: A Novel by Brit Bennett
  2. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  3. Klara and the Sun: A Novel by Kazuo Ishiguro
  4. A Promised Land by Barack Obama
  5. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
  6. The Guest List: A Novel by Lucy Foley
  7. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  8. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb
  9. The Other Black Girl: A Novel by Zakiya Dalila Harris
  10. Malibu Rising: A Novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Bronx:

  1. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
  2. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  3. 21st Birthday by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
  4. A Gambling Man by David Baldacci
  5. Caste: the Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
  6. The Russian by James Patterson and James O. Born
  7. The Affair: A Novel by Danielle Steel
  8. The Red Book by James Patterson and David Ellis
  9. Win by Harlan Coben
  10. Neighbors: A Novel by Danielle Steel

Manhattan:

  1. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  2. Caste: the Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
  3. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  4. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
  5. Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
  6. The Guest List: A Novel by Lucy Foley
  7. Such A Fun Age: A Novel by Kiley Reid
  8. Anxious People: A Novel by Fredrik Backman translated by Neil Smith
  9. A Promised Land by Barack Obama
  10. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Staten Island:

  1. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
  2. 21st Birthday by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
  3. Neighbors: A Novel by Danielle Steel
  4. Legacy by Nora Roberts
  5. A Gambling Man by David Baldacci
  6. Deadly Cross by James Patterson
  7. Eternal by Lisa Scottoline
  8. The Red Book by James Patterson and David Ellis
  9. The Russian by James Patterson and James O. Born
  10. The Affair: A Novel by Danielle Steel

Queens Public Library:

  1. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
  2. A Promised Land by Barack Obama
  3. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  4. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  5. The Guest List: A Novel by Lucy Foley
  6. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
  7. Caste: the Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
  8. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  9. Anxious People: A Novel by Fredrik Backman translated by Neil Smith
  10. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab

Brooklyn Public Library:

  1. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  2. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  3. A Promised Land by Barack Obama
  4. The Guest List by Lucy Foley
  5. Caste: the Origins of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
  6. Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hing
  7. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
  8. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
  9. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
  10. Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Top 10 lists for children

Brooklyn Public Library:

  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling
  2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
  3. Guts: Smile Series, Book 3 by Reina Telgemeier
  4. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling
  5. Fetch-22: Dog Man Series, Book 8 by Dav Pilkey
  6. Wrecking Ball (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 14) by Jeff Kinney
  7. The Ugly Truth (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #5) by Jeff Kinney
  8. Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi
  9. The Getaway (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 12) by Jeff Kinney
  10. Hard Luck (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #8) by Jeff Kinney

NYPL:

  1. Wrecking Ball (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 14) by Jeff Kinney
  2. Guts: Smile Series, Book 3 by Reina Telgemeier
  3. For Whom the Ball Rolls: Dog Man Series, Book 7 by Dav Pilkey
  4. The Deep End (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 15) by Jeff Kinney
  5. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
  6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling
  7. Fetch-22: Dog Man Series, Book 8 by Dav Pilkey
  8. Sisters: Smile Series, Book 2 by Reina Telgemeier
  9. The Ugly Truth (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series, Book 5) by Jeff Kinney
  10. Brawl of the Wild: Dog Man Series, Book 6 by Dav Pilkey

Queens Public Library:

  1. Grime and Punishment, Dog Man Series, Book 9 by Dav Pilkey
  2. Fetch-22: Dog Man Series, Book 8 by Dav Pilkey
  3. Mothering Heights, Dog Man Series, Book 10 by Dav Pilkey
  4. For Whom the Ball Rolls, Dog Man Series, Book 7 by Dav Pilkey
  5. Guts: Smile Series, Book 3 by Raina Telgemeier
  6. The Deep End (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 15) by Jeff Kinney
  7. Cat Kid Comic Club by Dav Pilkey
  8. Lord of the Fleas, Dog Man Series, Book 5 by Dav Pilkey
  9. Wrecking Ball (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 14) by Jeff Kinney
  10. Dog Man Unleashed by Dav Pilkey

Top 10 lists for young adults

Brooklyn Public Library:

  1. One of Us Is Lying by Karen M McManus
  2. Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto
  3. A Court of Thorns and Roses: A Court of Thorns and Roses Series, Book 1 by Sarah J Maas
  4. Shadow and Bone: The Grisha Trilogy, Book 1 by Leigh Bardugo
  5. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes: The Hunger Games Series, Book 0 by Suzanne Collins
  6. Midnight Sun: Twilight Series, Book 5 by Stephanie Meyer
  7. We Were Liars by E Lockhart
  8. Bleach by Tite Kubo
  9. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  10. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

NYPL:

  1. Shadow and Bone: The Grisha Trilogy, Book 1 by Leigh Bardugo
  2. Midnight Sun: Twilight Series, Book 5 by Stephanie Meyer
  3. We Were Liars by E Lockhart
  4. One of Us Is Lying: One of Us Is Lying Series, Book 1 by Karen M. McManus
  5. Siege and Storm: The Grisha Trilogy, Book 2 by Leigh Bardugo
  6. Crooked Kingdom: Dregs Series, Book 2 by Leigh Bardugo
  7. The Cruel Prince: Folk of the Air Series, Book 1 by Holly Black
  8. Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards
  9. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes: The Hunger Games Series, Book 0 by Suzanne Collins
  10. One of Us Is Next: The Sequel to One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Queens Public Library:

  1. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes: The Hunger Games Series, Book 0 by Suzanne Collins
  2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  3. The Cruel Prince: Folk of the Air Series, Book 1 by Holly Black
  4. Shadow and Bone: The Grisha Trilogy, Book 1 by Leigh Bardugo
  5. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
  6. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  7. Midnight Sun: Twilight Series, Book 5 by Stephanie Meyer
  8. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  9. A Court of Thorns and Roses: A Court of Thorns and Roses Series, Book 1 by Sarah J Maas
  10. The Fault in our Stars by John Green

“Brooklyn’s most-read books of 2021 reflect a city seeking to better understand its past and write a different future,” Linda E. Johnson, president of Brooklyn Public Library, said. “From Brit Bennet and Isabel Wilkerson to Cathy Park Hong and Kiley Reid, readers across the borough are still reckoning with racism’s long legacy. Along with Matt Haig, Barack Obama, and V. E. Schwab, they’re also reflecting on how we want to be remembered. Thankfully, literature continues to ask complex questions and evade simple answers.”

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