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The year in books: Queens Public Library unveils its most-borrowed books of 2023

Dec. 28, 2023 By Kirstyn Brendlen and Christian Murray

There are a lot of ways to take stock of the year as New Year’s Eve draws near and, naturally, the librarians and staff at the Queens Public Library are reflecting on the books Queens residents borrowed the most over the past 12 months.

This year’s Top 10 most-loaned books for adults included introspective memoirs, popular fiction, and plenty of cozy romance novels. Many books were penned by authors of color reflecting the fast-changing demographics of the borough, with some books also chosen prompted by social media.

“This year’s top checkouts reflect a changing of the guard. In the past our readers leaned towards popular romance and suspense novelists, like Danielle Steel, John Grisham or Stephen King,” said Queens Public Library Chief Librarian Nick Buron. “This year they were drawn to writers of color, like Gabrielle Zevin and Abraham Verghese [whose book ranked 7th], and authors whose popularity soared after they went viral on social media, like Rebecca Yarros, Colleen Hoover and Brianna Wiest.”

Top five 2023 checkouts for adults in Queens:

  • “Fourth Wing” by Rebecca Yarros
  • “Spare” by Prince Harry
  • “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” by Gabrielle Zevin
  • “I’m Glad My Mom Died” by Jennette McCurdy
  • “It Starts with Us” by Colleen Hoover

Other popular books in Queens included Brianna Wiest’s “101 Essays that Will Change the Way You Think,” which ranked 10th. Meanwhile, Abraham Verghese’s “The Covenant of Water” took the number 7 spot.

Some titles on the list were popular all across the city. “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” was in the top 10 in Manhattan, Brooklyn, as well as in Queens, according to the New York Public Library and the Queens Public Library, while “Fourth Wing,” by Rebecca Yarros, was the tenth most-popular adult book in Brooklyn, while being the most-checked out in Queens.

Of course, many of Queens Public Library cardholders are kids and young readers – and they had their own favorite books this year, including plenty of longtime favorites among young bookworms. Long-running series and classic coming-of-age tales topped the local literary charts in 2023.

Top 10 checkouts for kids in Queens:

  • “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Big Shot” by Jeff Kinney
  • “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Diper Overlode”by Jeff Kinney
  • “Dog Man: Mothering Heights” by Dav Pilkey
  • “Dog Man: Fetch-22” by Dav Pilkey
  • “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End” by Jeff Kinney
  • “Dog Man: Grime and Punishment” by Dav Pilkey
  • “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw” by Jeff Kinney
  • “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown” by Jeff Kinney
  • “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball” by Jeff Kinney
  • “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever” by Jeff Kinney

Top 10 checkouts for young adults in Queens:

  1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  2. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
  3. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
  4. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
  5. It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
  6. We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han
  7. One Piece by Eiichiro Oda
  8. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  9. A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas
  10. If He Had Been with Me by Laura Nowlin

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