A Crime Against Passion: Crime Novels Dominate Library List

Harlan Coben will appear as a Special Guest at the 2012 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival

In figures released this month by Public Lending Right (PLR), it would seem crime and thriller titles are killing off romantic novels, with crime now dominating the list of most-borrowed titles from libraries across Britain.

Statistics show that authors such as Lee Child, James Patterson, Harlan Coben, Ian Rankin and Liza Marklund (the latter three of which are all appearing at the 2012 Festival!) have firmly pushed period tales of love out of their home in the top ten. In fact, Patterson has a hand in five of the top ten books, which contrasts sharply with the figures from a decade ago, when Catherine Cookson and her historical romantic dramas took five of the top six places.

Lee Child appeared as a Special Guest at the 2011 Festival

Lee Child (real name Jim Grant) said he believed that readers had turned to crime writing to reassure themselves. In response to the figures, he said: “It gratifies their desire for safety and security and the rule of law, because at the end of crime novels, order is restored.”

In addition to these numbers, James Patterson was also the most borrowed author from UK libraries for what was the fifth year running (according to PLR figures for 2010/11) responsible for over two million loans nationally, further confirming the countries changing tastes. The second most borrowed author overall was Daisy Meadows, the pen name for a successful chidren’s fiction writing team.

UK’s most borrowed titles 2010/11:
1. The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown
2. 61 Hours – Lee Child
3. Private – James Patterson
4. 9th Judgement – James Patterson
5. Worst Case – James Patterson
6. Caught – Harlan Coben
7. Don’t Blink – James Patterson & Howard Roughan
8. The Postcard Killers – James Patterson & Lisa Marklund
9. The Complaints – Ian Rankin
10. Worth Dying For – Lee Child

UK’s most borrowed authors 2010/11:
1. James Patterson
2. Daisy Meadows
3. Nora Roberts
4. Jacqueline Wilson
5. Francesca Simon
6. Danielle Steel
7. Julia Donaldson
8. M C Beaton
9. Mick Inkpen
10. Clive Cussler