POPULAR BOOKS: Staff from Killarney Library, Eamon Browne, Kathleen Rice, Hazel Joy and Sabrina Horgan, pictured with some of the most popular books of 2019. Photo: Francis Foley



By Francis Foley


The digital age may be taking over, but the love of real books isn’t declining – in fact, according to Killarney Library, they’re just as popular as ever.


However, libraries are having to adapt to the modern digital age and are making allowances by developing online ordering, renewal and a wealth of online services.


“It is more than just books,” Killarney Librarian, Eamon Browne, explained to the Killarney Advertiser.


All books can be ordered online and collected later, and for even more convenience there is a service that allows the lender to take the book back to any library in Ireland. Also, ebooks and audio editions are available to the public to cater for the modern local library, which of course is true judging by the list of the most popular books borrowed in 2019. And it is the coverage these books receive on digital media, television and film that leads to their demand at the local library, he explained.


The most popular books list for 2019 were:

Adult Non-Fiction: ‘The Official Driver Theory Test Book’

Michelle Obama, ‘Becoming’

Vicky Phelan, ‘Overcoming A Memoir’


Adult Fiction:          Christy Lefteri, ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo’

Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen’s ‘Aisling’ books.

James Patterson, series of novels.

Margaret Atwood, ‘The Testament’ – Sequel to ‘The    Handmaid’s Tale’.

Heather Morris,’Cilka’s Journey’ – Sequel to ‘Tattooist of Auschwitz’.

Graham Norton, ‘A Keeper’


Children’s Titles:   Jeff Kinney, ‘Dairy of a Wimpy Kid’.

Dave Pilkey, ‘Dogman’

Judi Curtin, Irish children’s author, most titles.

J.K. Rowling, series of ‘Harry Potter’ books.

David Walliams’ series of books, most titles.


Topping the list in the non-fiction section may come as a surprise to some; ‘The Official Driver Theory Test Book’, both car and commercial truck editions. This can be explained because of their price and hopefully, because of their short period of use.


What also has a great influence on which books are most popular is what is trending on social media or in the news.

An example of this was Brexit and the border issue in the North of Ireland which lead to people wanting to find out more for themselves.

“Some books just fly off the selves because of trending such as, Graham Norton’s ‘A Keeper’ and Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’,” Eamon said.


When it comes to the children’s section, J.K. Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter’ series of books is still popular as they find a new generation of readers, as does the works of Roald Dahl. There is also demand for new children’s authors such as David Walliams, ‘Grandpa’s Great Escape’, and Jeff Kinney with, ‘Dairy of a Wimpy Kid’, he added.

“The services the modern local library supplies are important to the local community, and it’s a great thing to see.”