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Here are the most popular books borrowed from North Shore libraries this year

Fiction, non-fiction, kids books and even DVD’s, locals were truly making the most of the North Shore libraries in 2023
The North Shore libraries have announced their annual year-in-review of the most borrowed titles. | West Vancouver Memorial Library

As the year comes to a close, it marks the opportunity to reflect on all the best moments that came out of 2023. For us, we’ve rounded up the finest photos shot by our resident snappers, the most memorable news stories and the best animal stories from 2023.

For the three North Shore libraries, naturally, they have compiled a list of the most pored over books.

The North Shore certainly has been feasting on library offerings. Collectively, the City of North Vancouver, District of North Vancouver and West Vancouver Memorial libraries have circulated more than three million physical and digital items this year alone, with the most-read titles heavily influenced by pop culture, staff recommendations, local events and, in a particularly modern turn of events, BookTok (a sub community on the TikTok app).

A large number of books from the list went viral on the app this year, like It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover, a romance novel based on the relationship between Hoover’s own parents, and A World of Curiosities by Louise Penny, the eighteenth book to come from Penny’s New York Times bestselling series.

Readers were also heavily influenced by what was showing on the box this year, with Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus, a 2022 book that was adapted into a widely popular TV series this year, being the most-read fiction offering. Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese, a novel shortlisted for the Booker Prize this year, was another fiction title gunning for the top spot.

North Shore readers have also been equally as invested in non-fiction, and local non-fiction at that. The Fire Still Burns, a first-hand account of residential schools to come from Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) Elder Sam George, was one of the most borrowed books this year. Following closely behind was Gabor Maté’s The Myth of Normal, the latest book on trauma to come from the East Vancouver doctor, Prince Harry’s hotly anticipated memoir Spare and Jennette McCurdy’s confessional I’m Glad My Mom Died.

As far as the kids were concerned, the Harry Potter and Diary of a Wimpy Kid series still remain fast favourites. The Hunger Games books have risen in popularity with teens, likely a result of the release of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, the latest in the franchise.

Contrary to popular opinion, locals are using the services of libraries now more than ever, said Deb Hutchison Koep, chief librarian at the city’s library.

“We’re so pleased to see that North Shore library users are borrowing and using our services more than ever,” she said. “Ebook and e-audiobook circulation has been increasing at all libraries, indicating users appreciate the convenience and accessibility of downloading on their devices.”

At the same time, demand for print materials remains strong, she added.

“Popular reads in all of our systems show that people continue to turn to the library to be entertained, engaged and informed. People really are reading more,” she said.

Truly making use of the North Shore libraries vast offerings, locals have also been renting out DVD’s to enjoy in the comfort of their own home. Top of the list this year? Top Gun, although whether there was an uptake seen during the festive season remains to be known. The 2022 Tom Hanks’ hit A Man Called Otto and The Fablemans, Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical story, were also regularly checked out.

Mina Kerr-Lazenby is the North Shore News’ Indigenous and civic affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.

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