Who says the written word is dead?
Okay, no one really says this. Nevertheless, there does seem to be a notion bouncing around the zeitgeist that people—for explanations ranging from all the competing entertainments available to us (mostly brain-deadening), to the effect these various entertainments have on our attention spans (mostly negative)—just don't sit down and read long, difficult, immersive books quite as often as they used to.
In Haverford at least, this doesn't seem to be the case.
According to director Christine Farris, with two days to go in 2011, her library has circulated a total of 330,840 items, compared to 325,000 for all of last year. Though Farris admitted to blanching when she saw the library's most borrowed item for the year was a DVD (The King's Speech—at least she can take some solace in the fact that, like many great novels, it's high-brow, British, and stupefyingly boring), she emphasized that DVD's can only be kept out for three days, while books can be kept out for three weeks, so the former cycle through the system faster.
Without further ado, the most popular books this year at the Haverford Free Library were...
- The Judas Gate by Jack Higgins had 21 checkouts
- The Fifth Witness by Michael Connely had 20.
- Tick Tock by James Patterson had 20.
- Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue had 20.
- A Turn in the Road by Debbie Macomber had 19.
- Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay had 18.
- Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo had 21 checkouts.
- Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand had 20.
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot had 15.
- The Ugly Truth by Jeff Kinney had 23 checkouts.
- Mister Tony is Full of Baloney! by Dan Gutman had 20.
- The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary by Jeff Kinney had 20.
- Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins had 20.