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The Mexico Ledger - Mexico, MO
  • 2013 Top Library Books

  • James Patterson tops the list of most popular author checked out at library
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  • The New York Times Bestsellers list and the goodreads.com Top Books of 2013 have nothing on the Mexico-Audrain Library. Mexico branch manager Christal Bruner has compiled a list of the 100 most-checked out books during 2013 at Mexico and the four library branches.
    "We thought it would be a good idea to identify the books checked out the most, particularly when we are asked to recommend a 'good book' for our patrons," Bruner said. Bruner, who is also the library system's technology specialist, ran the report, and Mare Prosso, adult services librarian, made a brochure listing the top 100 books. The brochure is available at the check-out desk in Mexico, and at the Farber, Laddonia, Martinsburg and Vandalia branch libraries.
    Books by familiar authors fill the top ten spots on the list, including seven by prolific writer James Patterson. He tops the list with "Merry Christmas." In the second spot is Janet Evanovitch's "Notorious Nineteen." Along with six other Patterson books, "Daddy's Gone a Hunting," by Mary Higgins Clark and "Starting Now" by Debbie Macomber were the top books checked out in 2013.
    "Patterson's books are so popular because he has generational appeal," Bruner said. "He reaches different audiences. For example, his Young Adult series are phenomenal, and he also appeals to male readers."
    Fiction books are by far the most popular books checked out of the libraries. On the local list of last year's favorites, only one non-fiction book made the top 100.
    In the fiction books, continuing the development of a character seems to guarantee reader support. "People enjoy reading books which are in a series," Bruner said. "They get hooked on a particular author or character, and want to read more."
    Along with Patterson, popular authors who have continuing characters are David Baldacci, John Grisham and Sue Grafton. Popular reoccurring characters are Jack Ryan, in the books of the late Tom Clancy, Alex Cross in the Patterson books and Jack Reacher in the Lee Child books.
    "Books which have been made into movies also are very popular," Bruner said. "If people are readers, they generally prefer to read the book first and then see the movie. Reading the books gives more details than the movies can include."
    Young adult books are becoming popular–not just with teens, but also with adults. "Veronica Roth is a favorite writer," Bruner said. "Her fantasy books, such as 'Insurgent,' and other parts of the series get checked out a lot. If a movie is made, such as of the 'Hunger Games,' the books continue to be read."
    On the goodreads.com site, the number one read book of 2013 was "And the Mountains Echoed" by Khaled Hosseini. This book did not make the local top 100 books checked out, but is available at Mexico and all the branches. The number two book on the site, 'The Storyteller' by Jodi Picoult is on the local list at number 32.
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