NYPL’s Most Read Books During the Pandemic

Posted on: April 16th, 2020 at 5:09 am by

It’s hard to read anything but the news lately, but New Yorkers are still hitting the library, albeit the digital version. Nothing says escapism like diving into a dystopian novel during a pandemic.

The New York Public Library has over 300,000 e-books available for patrons to browse, borrow, and read remotely, through e-reader app SimplyE (A library card is required, but can be obtained through the app). Since the citywide library system closed due to COVID-19 about a month ago, e-book checkouts have increased nearly 10% compared to last year.

And what have been the top checkouts? (Spoiler alert: Stephen King’s The Stand didn’t make the list.)

Becoming by Michelle Obama
Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
The Dutch House: A Novel by Ann Patchett
Deacon King Kong: A Novel by James McBride
The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb
Normal People: A Novel by Sally Rooney
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
The Water Dancer: A Novel by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

“For 125 years, The New York Public Library has brought New Yorkers together around reading and learning, offering books, classes, programs, and materials to strengthen our communities,” said Anthony Marx, president of The New York Public Library. “I am proud that we continue to connect New Yorkers, even when we can’t actually be together. Reading provides so much: comfort, an escape, a distraction. I hope this relatively small pleasure helps our communities through a very challenging time.”

The library is also offering a bunch of cool resources to use remotely. Check them out here.

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