A sign reading Bestsellers on a table of books, with bookshelves in the background.

If you had to guess, what would you say was the most popular title across all KLAS Talking Book Library (LBPD) patrons? How about the most popular author? I doubt you’ll guess the most popular series.

While Mitake was gathering the LBPD circulation statistics to send to NLS, she compiled all the libraries’ most popular titles, authors, and series to find out the combined top favorites. It was interesting to see the impact even a small library can have on the rankings. For example, the 7th most popular series was all due to just two libraries! The #1 most popular series was in the top at 30 libraries. Those two series had an equal number of titles.

Have you made your guesses? While you ponder a bit longer here are some (perhaps unhelpful) hints:

  • The most popular author’s most popular book was only in 19 libraries’ top 200 titles, and his most popular series barely made the top 40.
  • The most popular title was written by the 5th most popular author.
  • The most popular series was written by the 4th most popular author, and the most popular book in that series was the 3rd most circulated title.

If you guessed Long Shadows by David Baldacci, author James Patterson, and the Heart of the Mountains series by M. M. Beller, then give yourself a piece of left over Halloween candy! Below are the top four in each category along with a few honorable mentions.

The Top Four Most Popular Titles by the Number of Libraries

  1. Long shadows by David Baldacci (30 libraries – 12,382 circulations)
  2. The boys from Biloxi by John Grisham (30 libraries – 7,803 circulations)
  3. This healing journey by Misty M. Beller (28 libraries – 10,625 circulations)
  4. Portrait of an unknown woman by Daniel Silva (26 libraries – 12,201 circulations)

Honorable mention goes to Razzmatazz by Christopher Moore which is the 4th most popular title in terms of circulation numbers, 9,237, but only 22 libraries had it in their top 200.

The Top Four Most Popular Authors

  1. James Patterson with 41,108 circulations and 53 titles
  2. William W. Johnstone with 30,756 circulations and 52 titles
  3. Danielle Steel with 26,920 circulations and 32 titles
  4. Misty M. Beller with 22,829 circulations and 7 titles

Honorable mentions that all had over 10,000 circulations are David Baldacci (10 titles), John Grisham (13 titles), Debbie Macomber (18 titles), Donald Hamilton (9 titles), Tracie Peterson (15 titles), Daniel Silva (3 titles), Stuart Woods (11 titles), Lauraine Snelling (16 titles), Mary Connealy (8 titles), and Wanda E. Brunstetter (10 titles).

The Top Four Most Popular Series by Sum of Circulation

  1. Heart of the Mountains series by M. M. Beller (22,066 circulations, 4 titles, anywhere from 7 to 28 libraries had it in the top 200)
  2. Matt Helm series by Donald Hamilton (13,496 circulations, 9 titles, anywhere from 1 to 19 libraries had it in the top 200)
  3. Gabriel Allon series by Daniel Silva (12,646 circulations, 3 titles, all due to the popularity of one title (see above) since the other two books were popular at one library apiece and had less than 500 combined circs)
  4. Amos Decker series by David Baldacci (12,382 circulations, all due to just one book, but it happened to be the most popular book, see above)

Honorable mentions are Stuart Woods’ Stone Barrington series (9 titles with 10000+ circs) and S. D. Sykes’ Somershill Manor Mystery series (3 titles, 9000+ circs). Impressively, Lauraine Snelling’s Daughters of Blessing series of four titles racked up 8800+ circs despite only being in the top 200 at two libraries.

Did anything surprise you? Which authors or books or series were you expecting to be at the top? If you want to know the top titles at your library, you can find that in the summary report that Nancy emailed you when asking for permission to share the data with NLS.

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