News, Events and Culture

Fast-paced thrillers hit the spot

Thursday January 14 2016

Staff at Palmerston North City Library have had a look at the city’s borrowing habits to see what we liked to read in 2015.

General Manager Libraries and Community Services, Debbie Duncan said records showed that during 2015 almost 1,000,000 books were borrowed from the Library.

"I'm thrilled that the community are making such good use of the Library and that in this technological era, books are still enjoyed by so many. Staff are committed to meeting customer needs and are always open to suggestions for future purchases."

Adults favoured fast-paced thrillers and the adventure genre, with Lee Child titles featuring prominently in the top 20. Sagas and romantic books came a close second.

Eleanor Catton's award winning New Zealand read, The Luminaries, came in at number 14. It was published in 2013 and the TV adaptation is being filmed in Hokitika.

Children preferred humour, particularly if it was mixed with 'wimpiness', or action stories featuring adventurous mice. Classic picture books were a hit, including the musically accompanied Wonky Donkey.

Young adult titles appearing in the top twenty touched on relationships, or the excitement and escapism of sci-fi & fantasy.

In the non-fiction arena, we could see why Palmerston North is reputed to have the most eateries per capita in the country with foodie books a firm favourite. Annabel Langbein was the most popular author with three books in the top 20. However, it was the late Peter Williams' book, The Dwarf Who Moved: and Other Remarkable Tales from a Life in the Law that topped the adult's non-fiction list for a single title. Five other biographies were scattered throughout.

Children focused on hobbies, especially Minecraft and Lego while younger readers enjoyed animal themed books.


  Titles - Adult's Top Twenty Fiction   
  Author Title Borrowed
1 Child, Lee. Personal 405
2 Child, Lee. A Wanted Man 261
3 Grisham, John. Gray Mountain 254
4 Child, Lee. The Affair 227
5 Binchy, Maeve. Chestnut Street 212
6 Paetro, Maxine.; Patterson, James. Unlucky 13 206
7 Moyes, Jojo. One Plus One 201
8 Picoult, Jodi. Leaving Time 201
9 Child, Lee. Worth Dying for 200
10 Child, Lee. Never Go Back 199
11 Child, Lee. Die Trying 188
12 Grisham, John. Sycamore Row 186
13 Pearse, Lesley. Survivor 172
14 Catton, Eleanor. Luminaries 165
15 Child, Lee. The Visitor 164
16 Binchy, Maeve. A Week in Winter 163
17 Grisham, John. The Racketeer 161
18 Sparks, Nicholas. The Longest Ride 157
19 Roberts, Nora. The Liar 155
20 Smith, Wilbur A. Vicious Circle 153