Here are the most checked out books across New York City in 2020

Here are the most checked out books across New York City in 2020

With the final days of 2020 ticking away, New York City’s public library systems have revealed their top checkouts for the year.

Titles from the Brooklyn Public Library, the New York Public Library and the Queens Public Library fill the list, which ranks “How To Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi, “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett and “The Guardians” by John Grisham as the most checked out books in the three respective systems. Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” (last year’s most borrowed book at the NYPL), Delia Owens’ “Where the Crawdads Sing” and Tara Westover’s “Educated” all landed in the top 10 across the charts.

While crunching the data for the libraries’ 2020 calculations, e-books factored large. With branches closed for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the titles that landed on the lists were “primarily borrowed digitally,” according to the New York Public Library (which clocked over 100,000 new users on its digital system from March to November).

Officials from the libraries also noted that the books suggest engagement in current events and a desire to be comforted through literature in the midst of crisis.

“2020 was a year of devastation but also transformation, which is reflected in the books we reached for,” Linda E. Johnson, president and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library, said in a statement. “Our top titles reflect a city seeking to uproot the long legacies of racism and sexism, to understand how we arrived here and how we might imagine a more equitable future. They reflect a city that has fought to sustain its sense of community despite the distance.”

And without further ado, here are this year’s most checked out books.

Brooklyn Public Library:

  1. “How To Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi
  2. “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People To Talk About Racism” by Robin DiAngelo
  3. “Normal People: A Novel” by Sally Rooney
  4. “Becoming” by Michelle Obama
  5. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens
  6. “Educated” by Tara Westover
  7. “The Silent Patient” by Alex Michaelides
  8. “The Nickel Boys: A Novel” by Colson Whitehead
  9. “The Testaments” by Margaret Atwood
  10. “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The New York Public Library (Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island):

  1. “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett
  2. “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People To Talk About Racism” by Robin DiAngelo
  3. “The Glass Hotel: A Novel” by Emily St. John Mandel
  4. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens
  5. “The Dutch House: A Novel” by Ann Patchett
  6. “The Nickel Boys: A Novel” by Colson Whitehead
  7. “Educated” by Tara Westover
  8. “Becoming” by Michelle Obama
  9. “Normal People: A Novel” by Sally Rooney
  10. “Maybe You Should Talk To Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist and Our Lives Revealed” by Lori Gottlieb

Queens Public Library:

  1. “The Guardians” by John Grisham
  2. “Moral Compass” by Danielle Steel
  3. “Becoming” by Michelle Obama
  4. “Lost” by James Patterson and James O. Born
  5. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens
  6. “A Minute to Midnight” by David Baldacci
  7. “Educated” by Tara Westover
  8. “Criss Cross” by James Patterson
  9. “Little Fires Everywhere: A Novel” by Celeste Ng
  10. “The Silent Patient” by Alex Michaelides