by Linda McGrory
IRISH readers had austerity on their minds last year
with 'Strumpet City' the most borrowed book of adult
fiction from public libraries nationally, new
But library users’ also opted for racy 'Fifty Shades
of Grey' which made it onto the top ten most
borrowed list for the first time here in 2013.
E.L James’ raunchy read, first published in 2011,
was the fifth most borrowed adult fiction title at
the country’s 336 public libraries last year which
saw 17 million visits by members.
Donegal libraries recorded 335,000 visits last year
(Read story here). Workers’ equality trumped
eroticism, however, with the new edition of James
Plunkett's 1969 historical novel 'Strumpet City',
the most borrowed title among Irish adults.
'Strumpet City' with an introduction by journalist
Fintan O’Toole, recounts the dramatic events of
Dublin's 1913 Lockout. It was nominated by libraries
in the capital for their ‘One City One Book’ scheme
last year to mark the Lockout’s centenary.
The figures, compiled by the Public Lending
Remuneration (PLR) service for the Local Government
Management Agency, show that there were some 17
million visits to public libraries last year with
some 19 million loans of books and non-book
A PLR spokesperson said Irish fiction “remained
dominant” with “22 Irish fiction titles making it
into the top 100 last year”.
The figures reveal that the top five most popular
books among Irish adults were ‘Strumpet City’ by
James Plunkett (1); 'The Casual Vacancy by J.K.
Rowling (2); 'A Week in Winter' by Maeve Binchy (3);
City of Bohane by Kevin Barry (4) and ‘Fifty Shades
of Grey’ by E.L. James (5).
US writer James Patterson was overall the most
borrowed adult fiction author in Ireland last year
with over 68,000 library loans.
Meanwhile, the PLR figures show that children
continue to be Ireland’s top borrowers.
Jeff Kinney's 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly
Truth', was the most checked-out title with Kinney’s
series also representing the top six books borrowed
by children overall.
Meanwhile, 'The Hunger Games' and 'Catching Fire' by
Suzanne Collins came in at eighth and ninth place,
Among the top non fiction titles were ‘The Official
Driver Theory Test’ (1); ‘Just Mary: My Memoir’ by
Mary O’Rourke (2) and ‘Guinness World Records 2012
A total of €240,000 was paid out by PLR to 5,483
authors in respect of their Irish library loans last