American novel The Help was the most borrowed adult fiction book in Irish libraries last year, according to figures from the Local Government Management Agency.
Kathryn Stockett’s debut novel was the most popular choice with grown-up readers visiting the country’s 336 public libraries last year.
It tells the story of African-American maids working in white households in Mississippi during the 1960s.
John Grisham's legal thriller The Litigators was the second most borrowed book of adult fiction here.
Maeve Binchy's last novel, Minding Frankie, was the fourth favourite among library users last year while the late writer was also the 25th most borrowed author overall in the State.
and was also the most borrowed title overall at libraries last year, according to agency.
The libraries development unit at the Local Government Management Agency compiled the list with statistics from the public lending remuneration scheme. There were about 16.4 million visits to libraries last year, resulting in more than 19 million loans of books and other materials.
The agency said that children’s books now account for 46 per cent of all books borrowed from Irish libraries.
Roderick Hunt, the author of more than 300 titles in the Oxford Reading Tree series, was the most popular children's author overall with his books loaned out 155,000 times last year.
"Classic stories continue to delight today's children with stars such as Enid Blyton, Roger Hargreaves and Roald Dahl in the top 10 alongside Daisy Meadows, Francesca Simon, and Jacqueline Wilson," the agency said.
The most popular non-fiction books last year were the Guinness Book of World Records 2011 and the Official Driver Theory Test.
Almost €222,000 was paid out to 4,685 home-grown and international authors in respect of library loans. Nineteen writers received the maximum €1,000 payment, the agency said. Meanwhile, the agency said the success of the Dublin: One City, One Book initiative was reflected in James Joyce’s Dubliners becoming the seventh most borrowed adult fiction title last year.
For the third successive year, US crime writer James Patterson was the most popular adult fiction author overall with borrowers. His books were checked out almost 71,000 times. Lee Child, the creator of the Jack Reacher series, was the second most-borrowed adult fiction author with almost 50,000 loans. "The 2012 Jack Reacher film with actor Tom Cruise in the lead role has certainly helped increase loan figures," the agency said.
Irish writers and illustrators are also attracting lots of readers, with 12 featuring in the top 100, it said.
Judi Curtin’s were the most popular books by an Irish author last year followed by Martin Waddell’s and Maeve Binchy’s. Alan Early’s Viking adventure Arthur Quinn and the World Serpent was the most popular Irish fiction title.
Good reads – Top 10 libarary loans
1 The Help Kathryn Stockett
2 The Litigators John Grisham
3 The Sense of an Ending Julian Barnes
4 Minding Frankie Maeve Binchy
5 Even the Dogs Jon McGregor
6 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Stieg Larsson
7 Dubliners James Joyce
8 On Canaan's Side Sebastian Barry
9 Headhunters Jo Nesbo
10 The Affair Lee Child