We track bestselling books obsessively: weekly, daily, even hourly or minutely on Amazon sometimes (guilty!). Yet we hardly pay any attention at all to library lending. Why not? I suppose because money isn't involved, or not as directly involved, but still, it seems worth thinking about.
Library Journal's annual survey of U.S. public libraries shows that in 2013, libraries lent mysteries more than any other kind of book. And this has been true for years, with slight fluctuations. From the survey:
"Among fiction’s various genres, mystery remains king, though its grip slipped somewhat in 2013, when 95% of respondents reported it as one of their top five fiction circulators; in 2012, its share was 99%.
Interestingly, the survey shows that libraries in urban and rural areas lend more mysteries and thrillers than libraries in suburbia. I would never have guessed that.
Thanks, Lynne M. Thomas, for calling my attention to this annual survey.