What Do Popular Books Reflect in New York Libraries?

Books like Klara and the sun, The guest list, Malibu on the rise, Mexican gothic and Where the crayfish sing are among the most popular books New Yorkers have borrowed from the New York Public Library this year.

“These are good books to talk about,” said Lynn Lobash, NYPL director of reader services. “These books are super entertaining. It’s like watching TV.”

Lobash said seven of the city’s top 10 library system picks were picked by book clubs, including the Oprah Book Club.

“What this tells me is that New Yorkers may have gotten past all the isolation and want to come together around books, be social and talk about books,” Lobash said.

Brooklyn Public Library’s Fritzi Bodenheimer said reading and talking about books is a great way for people to stay connected, especially when they’re stuck at home. She said about half of the most popular books that readers borrow have many breakouts. Others deal with racial issues such as The half that faints on racial identity in the segregated South, Caste: the origins of our discontent, The other black girl, and A promised land by former President Barack Obama.

“People are really trying to understand this world we live in,” Bodenheimer said.

And NYPL’s Lobash noted that editors “are starting to publish so many authors of color and are bringing their views to the literature.”

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