Television’s boost to library books

Following the screening of the Shetland TV drama Ann Cleeves’ book Dead Water was the most borrowed fiction book from Shetland Library in 2014.

The televised crime series was based on Cleeves’ books and it is the seventh year she has held the top place in the adult fiction table.

Ann Cleeves on set
Ann Cleeves’ Dead Water was the most borrowed adult fiction book in 2014.

Dead Water only narrowly beat a book first published in 2005 –  Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief enjoyed a resurgence with the release of the film.

Television, game and film connections feature prominently among the lists of what people are reading – Minecraft, The Lego Movie and The Great British Bake Off are represented in the lists.

Among young adult readers the top book is John Green’s The Fault in our Stars, a popular film in 2014. For the second year in a row, the children’s fiction top 10 is dominated by Jeff Kinney’s Wimpy Kid books, taking seven places.

Jane Spall, school library assistant at Aith Junior High School, is not surprised by this. She said: “These books just never stay on the shelf – they appeal particularly to boys and because they are humorous and well written they attract more reluctant readers, so I think they are brilliant.”

Gordon Johnston's 1914 Peace and War was popular, but Millie Vigor's Catherine of Deepdale was the most borrowed Shetland title.
Gordon Johnston’s 1914 Peace and War was popular, but Millie Vigor’s Catherine of Deepdale was the most borrowed Shetland title.

Popular local books were Gordon Johnston’s newspaper extract book 1914 Peace and War, Amy Lightfoot’s illustrated riddle book Guddicks and Laughton Johnson’s Havera.

However, the Shetland lending top 10 is topped by Millie Vigor with Catherine of Deepdale for a second year and all three books in her trilogy make the top 10. Vigor, who signed up with national publisher Robert Hale at the age of 85, has also loaned well in large print and e-book editions.

The top lending e-books were a mix of popular and local fiction. Local author Marsali Taylor achieved equal second alongside bestseller Stuart MacBride; S.J. Bolton’s Shetland-based thriller Sacrifice continues to lend well; and books with film tie-ins Divergent and The Maze Runner were popular.

New to the lists this year are the library’s best lending e-magazines – Woman’s Own takes first place, with Amateur Photographer, Auto Express, Ideal Home and National Geographic among the most read titles.

Library manager Karen Fraser said: “We’re pleased that people are trying out our e-books and e-magazines.  In a small authority like this we have to work hard to make sure popular books circulate as fast as possible, so the e-resources can give customers more options.

“It’s always interesting to see these end of year statistics – I wonder, who will finally topple Ann Cleeves?”


Add Your Comment

Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.