Books most borrowed in America, Britain, Singapore

American thriller writer James Patterson is the author whose books are borrowed most often from libraries in America and Britain. Malcolm Gladwell topped the non-fiction list in America with Outliers: The Story of Success, according to Library

American authors dominate the list of 250 books borrowed most often in Britain in 2009.

Patterson is followed by the romantic writers Nora Roberts and Danielle Steel.

Only two of the 10 most borrowed books in Britain were by British writers: The Outcast by Sadie Jones and Friday Nights by Joanna Trollope.

Here are the top 10 lists for Britain, America and Singapore. The Singapore list is for the National Library Board’s financial year 2008.

Ian Rankin narrowly missed the cut: Exit Music was the 13th — and Doors Open 15th — most borrowed book in Britain.

Khaled Hosseini, whose The Kite Runner was No 1 in Singapore, took the 20th spot in Britain with A Thousand Splendid Suns.

John Grisham made the top 10 in both America and Britain, with The Associate ranked No 10 in America and The Appeal No 9 in Britain.

Thrillers, romance and crime novels were the most popular genres in ­libraries in Britain and America. Serious or literary works were low on the British list with Sebastian Faulks’  Engleby ranked 226th (his thriller, Devil May Care, was 162nd) and Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach 227th.

The Singapore list seems a little different. It includes serious writers such as the Pulitzer-winning Indian American Jhumpa Lahiri, Mitch Albom, Paulo Coelho and Dai Sijie.

According to the Guardian, the 10 authors whose books are borrowed most often in Britain are 1 James Patterson 2 Daisy Meadows 3 Jacqueline Wilson 4 Francesca Simon 5 Nora Roberts 6 Mick Ingpen 7 Julia Donaldson 8 Lauren Child 9 Danielle Steel 10 Lucy Cousins.

If we exclude children’s writers, however, the top 10 authors in Britain are 1 James Patterson 2 Nora Roberts 3 Danielle Steel 4 Josephine Cox 5 Ian Rankin 6 Alexander McCall Smith 7 Anna Jacobs 8 Clive Cussler 9 Jodi Picoult 10 Agatha Christie.

Others who keep popping up on the British list include the American writers Lee Child, Patricia Cornwell, Harlan Coben, Jeffery Deaver, David Baldacci, Michael Connelly and John Grisham. PD James’ The Private Patient is 32nd on the list. British thriller writers with more than one book on the list include Ian Rankin,  Ruth Rendell, Reginald Hill, Peter Robinson, Andy McNab, Val McDermid and Dick Francis – who died two days ago at the age of 89.

So who are the most popular writers in Singapore?

It would be good if the National Library Board came out with more comprehensive and interesting reports like the British top 250 books list.

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