‘Strumpet City’ most borrowed book from public libraries in 2013

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ makes top 100 for first time, but ‘Wimpy Kid’ dominates charts

Strumpet City was the most borrowed book of adult fiction from public libraries last year, new figures show.

Library users also elevated Fifty Shades of Grey onto the list of Ireland's top 100 borrowed books for the first time last year. EL James' raunchy read, first published in 2011, was the 36th most borrowed title at the country's 336 public libraries in 2013.

Workers' equality trumped eroticism however, with the new edition of James Plunkett's 1969 historical novel Strumpet City, the most borrowed title among adults overall.

The novel, with an introduction by Irish Times 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.


Plunkett’s novel was the seventh most borrowed book by library users in 2013 with the top six positions occupied by children’s titles.

The figures, compiled by the Public Lending Remuneration (PLR) service, show that young library members continue to be Ireland’s top borrowers.

Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth, was the most checked-out title in the country with Kinney's series occupying the top six places overall last year.

Meanwhile, another children's book Save Pudding Wood by Roderick Hunt, was the eighth most popular choice among library members last year. The table continues with The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, in ninth and tenth place, respectively.

JK Rowling's first foray into adult fiction The Casual Vacancy was 12th favourite among Irish readers last year followed by A Week in Winter by the late Maeve Binchy, at number 13.

City of Bohane by Kevin Barry was 18th favourite at public libraries followed by The Official Driver Theory Test at number 19.

Gillian Flynn's thriller Gone Girl could be found at number 87 on the list.

Meanwhile, there were only slight changes to the list of the top 10 most borrowed authors compared to 2012.

Roderick Hunt, who writes the Oxford Reading Tree children's series, was Ireland's most borrowed author overall in 2013. He was followed by Daisy Meadows (2nd) and Francesca Simon (3rd).

Crime writer James Patterson fell from eighth to 10th position having swapped places on the table with Julia Donaldson (8th). Roald Dahl remained at number nine for a second year. Others on the most borrowed authors' list include Maeve Binchy (26th); Eoin Colfer (28th); Jeffrey Archer (90th) and John Connolly (100th).

Most Borrowed Adult Fiction Titles 2013 1 Strumpet City by James Plunkett; 2 The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling; 3 A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy; 4 City of Bohane by Kevin Barry; 5 Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James; 6 The Racketeer by John Grisham; 7 The Litigators by John Grisham; 8 This Child of Mine by Sinead Moriarty; 9 Inferno by Dan Brown; 10 The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes

Most Borrowed Children's Fiction Titles 2013 1 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth by Jeff Kinney; 2 Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney; 3 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney; 4 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney ; 5 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules by Jeff Kinney; 6 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney; 7 Save Pudding Wood by Nick Schon; 8 The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins; 9 Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins; 10 Dog Days by Jeff Kinney

Most Borrowed Non-Fiction Titles 2013 1 The Official Driver Theory Test; 2 Just Mary: My Memoir by Mary O'Rourke; 3 Guinness World Records 2012; 4 Guinness World Records 2013; 5 Staring at Lakes by Michael Harding