Five of the top ten most borrowed titles from the Sylvan Lake Municipal Library in 2019 were mystery thrillers.
The front runner for most loaned was “Kingdom of the Blind,” the fourteenth book in the A Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery series written by Canadian author Louise Penny.
Half of the top 10 titles fell under adult fiction with Kate Morton’s “The Clockmaker’s Daughter: A Novel” at number two, followed by “Death Walked In” by Carolyn G. Hart and “Fields Where They Lay” by Timothy Hallinan rounding out the list.
“It seems like mystery crime thrillers were the most popular,” said Andrea Newland, director of Sylvan Lake Municipal Library. “It was a very specific genre which I thought was interesting because it tells you a lot about the community.”
“It just seemed to be that one genre of like crime mystery whodunit I thought that was interesting,” continued Newland, adding “Kingdom of the Blind” is quite popular and the title being number one wasn’t a surprise.
Over the past few years the titles have made a switch to the mysteries from Christian fiction, something Newland says, shows a change in the community.
Overall, the genre of adult fiction being prominent on the list is normal for a public library as it remains to be a popular genre over non-fiction.
“It’s the quick read, it’s the getting yourself away form your daily life,” explained Newland. “People tend to use non-fiction to look things up, maybe not even leave the library with it.”
Coming in at number two was a beginner reader, which came as surprise to Newland.
“The Berenstain Bears Catch the Bus: A Tell of the Time Story” by Stan Berenstain was number two, while “Barbie A Perfect Christmas” by Christy Webster also landed in the top 10.
“Having a kids title as number two is super interesting for me to see because these things don’t last long,” Newland said explaining this style of book is “well loved” and have a short self life.
“When it comes to looking at our budget this is where I could probably reallocate some money because this is what the community is reading, which also tells you a lot about the age of the community,” she continued, adding it’s a “very family oriented community.”
Items number four through six on the list where all adult movies including “I Feel Pretty,” “The Greatest Showman” and “I, Tonya.”
Newland said she thought movies might be an item she would see in the top three.
She credits the accessibility to streaming having an affect on the DVD becoming less popular and is curious to see if those titles will change to video game titles in the future.
When it came digital borrows, such as audio books and e-books, the results reflect all Central Albertans in the Parkland Regional system.
Michelle Obama’s non-fiction “Becoming” topped the e-books list ahead of “The Testaments” by Margaret Atwood and “Blue Moon” by Lee Child.
An inspirational fiction title called “We Hope for Better Things” by Erin Bartels was the top circulated audio book. “Shadow Warrior” a romance by Christine Feehan and mystery “Ordinary Grace” by William Kent Krueger rounded out the top three.
Looking forward to the end of 2020 Newland says she could see the newest Louise Penny instalment coming in at the top spot.
She also wonders if patrons would be interested in true crime as well this year due to their interest in mystery solving and says the list will be used to help drive ordering and programming to better suit people’s interests.