Irish authors, classics and crime: most borrowed library books in 2020 revealed

Most borrowed books of 2020 revealed in lead up to #IrelandReads day, this Thursday 25th February.

Details of the most popular authors and books borrowed 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.

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.

Most borrowed books

Top 20 books borrowed in Irish public libraries 2020
1
My Mr. Men Complete Collection
Roger Hargreaves
2
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway
Jeff Kinney
3
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down
Jeff Kinney
4
Under the Hawthorn Tree
Marita Conlon-McKenna
5
Blue Moon
Lee Child
6
Dog Man: Dog Man and Cat Kid
Dav Pilkey
7
Wonder
R J Palacio
8
Tom Gates: What Monster
Liz Pichon
9
Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson’s Journal
Jeff Kinney
10
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
J K Rowling
11
Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kitties
Dav Pilkey
12
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Jeff Kinney
13
The Family Gift
Cathy Kelly
14
Fing
David Walliams; illustrated by Quentin Blake
15
Tom Gates: Spectacular School Trip (Really)
Liz Pichon
16
Bad Dad
David Walliams; illustrated by Tony Ross
17
The Night Fire
Michael Connelly
18
Mr Stink
David Walliams; Illustrated by Quentin Blake
19
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
Jeff Kinney
20
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
Jeff Kinney

Adult books – Top 20 books borrowed in Irish public libraries 2020
1
Blue Moon
Lee Child
2
The Family Gift
Cathy Kelly
3
The Night Fire
Michael Connelly
4
Becoming
Michelle Obama
5
Skin Deep
Liz Nugent
6
Once, Twice, Three Times an Aisling
Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen
7
Our Little Cruelties
Liz Nugent
8
Tatty
Christine Dwyer Hickey
9
The Beekeeper of Aleppo
Christy Lefteri
10
The Guardians
Jon Grisham
11
Overcoming
Vicky Phelan
12
The Testaments
Margaret Atwood
13
A Keeper
Graham Norton
14
Normal People
Sally Rooney
15
The Official Driver Theory Test
Department of Transport
16
The Birthday Party
Roisin Meaney
17
Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling
Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen
18
Olive, Again
Elizabeth Strout
19
Seven Letters
Sinead Moriarty
20
Where the Crawdads Sing
Delia Owens

Top 20 authors/contributors borrowed in Irish public libraries 2020
1
Roderick Hunt
2
Roger Hargreaves
3
Daisy Meadows
4
Julia Donaldson
5
Michael Morpurgo
6
Enid Blyton
7
Francesca Simon
8
Jacqueline Wilson
9
David Walliams
10
J K Rowling
11
Jeff Kinney
12
Adam Blade
13
James Patterson
14
Dav Pilkey
15
Roald Dahl
16
Holly Webb
17
Eoin Colfer
18
Marita Conlon McKenna
19
Dr Seuss
20
Lincoln Peirce

Adult – Top 20 authors/contributors borrowed in Irish public libraries 2020
1
James Patterson
2
Lee Child
3
John Boyne
4
Nora Roberts
5
Anthony Horowitz
6
Roddy Doyle
7
Agatha Christie
8
John Grisham
9
Michael Connelly
10
Danielle Steel
11
Maeve Binchy
12
Harlan Coben
13
Sheila O’Flanagan
14
David Baldacci
15
Stephen King
16
Jeffrey Archer
17
Jodi Picoult
18
Cathy Kelly
19
J D Robb (Nora Roberts pseudonym)
20
Jojo Moyes

Top 20 Adult Audiobooks Borrowed in Irish Public Libraries 2020 via BorrowBox
1
Becoming
Michelle Obama
2
The Beekeeper of Aleppo
Christy Lefteri
3
Tattooist of Auschwitz
Heather Morris
4
The Man Who Didn’t Call
Rosie Walsh
5
The Testaments
Margaret Atwood
6
This is Going to Hurt
Adam Kay
7
Nightboat to Tangier
Kevin Barry
8
Nine Perfect Strangers
Liane Moriarty
9
Tatty
Christine Dwyer Hickey
10
The Handmaid’s Tale
Margaret Atwood
11
The President is Missing
Bill Clinton and James Patterson
12
House Across the Street
Lesley Pearse
13
Short History of Nearly Everything
Bill Bryson
14
Into the Water
Paula Hawkins
15
Cilka’s Journey
Heather Morris
16
Help Me!
Marianne Power
17
Fool Me Once
Harlan Coben
18
The Thursday Murder Club
Richard Osman
19
House of Names
Colm Tóibin
20
Gotta Get Theroux This
Louis Theroux

Top 20 Adult eBooks borrowed in Irish Public Libraries 2020 via BorrowBox
1
Normal People
Sally Rooney
2
The Man who Didn’t Call
Rosie Walsh
3
The Beekeeper of Aleppo
Christy Lefteri
4
Becoming
Michelle Obama
5
Night Boat to Tangier
Kevin Barry
6
Conversations with Friends
Sally Rooney
7
Girl, Woman, Other
Bernardine Evaristo
8
The Catch
T.M. Logan
9
The Christmas Train
David Baldacci
10
The Last Mile
David Baldacci
11
The Secrets of Primrose Square
Claudia Carroll
12
The Tattooist of Auschwitz
Heather Morris
13
Guest List
Lucy Foley
14
The Man from St Petersburg
Ken Follett
15
Cilka’s Journey
Heather Morris
16
Girl in the Woods
Patricia MacDonald
17
Tatty
Christine Dwyer Hickey
18
Unsuitable Match
Joanna Trollope
19
Help Me!
Marianne Power
20
The Holiday
T.M. Logan

Eastwood