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.
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.”
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?”