Children's author tops most borrowed list again

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The Independent Culture

Children's author Jacqueline Wilson has retained her place as the nation's most borrowed author.

The creator of Tracy Beaker clocked up more than 2.2 million loans from public libraries last year.In London, eight of the top 10 most borrowed books were written by Wilson, who is the first British children's writer to top the two million mark.

Danielle Steele and Josephine Cox are second and third, followed by children's author and illustrator Mick Inkpen. The late Catherine Cookson, who was at the top of the lending chart for 17 years until Wilson ousted her last year, is fifth.

J K Rowling does not make the top 20, compiled by the Public Lending Right organisation. But Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was the most borrowed library book of last year. J R R Tolkien is the most borrowed classic author with his Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The most borrowed biography is Bruce: The Autobiography by entertainer Bruce Forsyth. Anne Robinson's Memoirs of an Unfit Mother is the most borrowed book related to television and Murray Walker's Unless I'm Very Much Mistaken is the most borrowed sport biography.

Pete McCarthy, who died in October, topped the travel book list with McCarthy's Bar: A Journey of Discovery In Ireland.

Jamie Oliver's Happy Days With The Naked Chef is the nation's most borrowed cookery book but Londoners and the Welsh prefer Delia Smith's How To Cook. The figures also reveal other regional variations. The Rough Guide To Spain is the most borrowed travel guide in the country. But residents of London and Wales prefer Lonely Planet: France while Northerners shun foreign travel in favour of The Rough Guide To The Lake District.


July 2003 to June 2004

1 Jacqueline Wilson

2 Danielle Steele

3 Josephine Cox

4 Mick Inkpen

5 Catherine Cookson

6 James Patterson

7 Janet and Allan Ahlberg

8 Agatha Christie

9 Ian Rankin

10 Roald Dahl


1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, JK Rowling

2 The King of Torts, John Grisham

3 Quentins, Maeve Binchy

4 The Beachcomber, Josephine Cox

5 Jinnie, Josephine Cox

6 Bad Boy Jack, Josephine Cox

7 Blue Horizon, Wilbur Smith

8 The Story of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson

9 The Summons, John Grisham

10 Lost Light, Michael Connelly