In celebration of its 125th anniversary, the New York Public Library ran the numbers to see which 10 books have been checked out the most. I have to admit that there were a few surprises.
The top 10 books along with their circulation numbers are:
- The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats: 485,583 checkouts
- The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss: 469,650 checkouts
- 1984 by George Orwell: 441,770 checkouts
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak: 436,016 checkouts
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: 422,912 checkouts
- Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White: 337,948 checkouts
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury: 316,404 checkouts
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie: 284,524 checkouts
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling: 231,022 checkouts
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle: 189,550 checkouts
I’m really glad that there are so many books for young readers. I expected there to be a Dr. Seuss book but why couldn’t it have been one of my favorites? As a child, my favorite was One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, quite possibly because it was the only Dr. Seuss book we owned. My mother loathed Dr. Seuss. As a teen and even today, my favorite is The Lorax.
I’m a little disappointed Twain didn’t make it. But my dad was a Twain fan so I grew up on Twain. My favorite? Connecticut Yankee.
I’ve read eight of the ten books. Although I’ve read bits and pieces of both Fahrenheit 451 and How to Win Friends and Influence People, I’ve never read either book in their entirety. I’m going to do something about that.
But I have read 1984 several times. I read it in 9th grade when I was reading all kinds of post-apocalyptic fiction including 1984 and Brave New World. Then lit teachers started assigning 1984.
So now manyof these books have you read? If you want to read more about the study and the results, there is an article here on NPR.