It looks like Harry Potter - or rather JK Rowling - still has the magic touch as her books were among the most borrowed books at Irish libraries last year.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The BFG are also among the books checked out most often.
Details of the 20 books and authors most frequently taken out of public libraries in 2018 have been published by the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA), which compiles the information as part of the Public Lending Remuneration (PLR) Scheme.
All 20 of the most borrowed titles were children’s books, with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling topping the list. Jeff Kinney, writer of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, and comedian David Walliams, who has sold more than 25 million children's books, both proved popular with library-goers, with five and six titles in the top 20 respectively.
Meanwhile, 19 of the 20 most borrowed authors in 2018 were children’s authors, with only James Patterson bucking the trend to make the list.
American author Patterson, best known for his Alex Cross and Women's Murder Club mystery series, topped the list of the most popular authors from the adult books collection, while Irish author Mike McCormack’s Solar Bones was the most borrowed adult book in 2018. Four of the top five most borrowed books for adults in 2018 are by Irish authors: Mike McCormack, Graham Norton, Liz Nugent and Marian Keyes.
The Guinness World Record series, which has compiled and updated world records both in human achievements and nature since 1955, remains a favourite with readers, with its 2018 edition the fourth most borrowed adult book last year.
Other popular authors among adults include Anthony Horowitz, Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel, Lee Child and John Grisham. Diligent learner drivers also made their mark, as the Road Safety Authority's Driver Theory Test is the 15th most borrowed adult book.
A number of titles included in the adult top 20 are from the ‘Healthy Ireland at Your Library’ collection, which is available in all public libraries to support the Government initiative to improve health and wellbeing.
Tom Enright, chairman of the National Libraries Development Committee, said:
Encouraging children to read for enjoyment and learning is central to Our Public Libraries 2022, the national public library strategy, so I am very encouraged to see so many children’s books and authors on the list
“The Irish public library collection has over 12 million items available to you completely free, and we are inviting everybody, young and old, to explore what’s on offer. Whether you want to come in to your library to browse for a book, use the internet, make use of digital equipment, enjoy the community space and wide range of activities, or you would prefer to download an audiobook, ebook or online newspaper or magazine from your own home, it is all open to you completely free with your library membership,” Mr Enright added.
Top books borrowed in Irish Public Libraries 2018:
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - JK Rowling
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School - Jeff Kinney
The BFG - Roald Dahl
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – JK Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – JK Rowling
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down - Jeff Kinney
Awful Auntie - David Walliams
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck - Jeff Kinney
Wonder – RJ Palacio
James and the Giant Peach - Roald Dahl
Ratburger - David Walliams
Matilda – Roald Dahl
The World's Worst Children - David Walliams
Gangsta Granny - David Walliams