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About culture Mariia Starikova

The Library of New York turns 125: the rating of the most popular books

18.01.2020, 12:00

On occasion of its 125th birthday the New York Public Library has made a list of books that have been in greatest demand with the readers. For almost half a year the analysts and librarians have been cooperating to compile and group the data. They have analyzed all the formats, including electronic books and editions in foreign languages. 

«The main goal is to understand what appeals to people and to crown the love to literature time and again», – stated Andrew Medlar, the head of the book procurement department.

The editions that have been in the library for a long time have had an obvious advantage over the modern bestsellers. The research has shown that the notion of time does not really matter when sincere interest is aroused. Thus a series of novels about Harry Potter published by Joan Rowling about 20 years ago has come on a par with Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” released in 1936. 

The list of the most checked-out books

  1. «The Snowy Day»

Author: Ezra Jack Keats

Has been read for: 485 583 times

Genre: literature for children

The year of release: 1962

A small illustrated story about an inquisitive boy Peter who lived in New York. One day we went outside to explore the snow-covered nooks around his house.

  1. «The Cat in the Hat»

Author: Dr. Seuss

Has been read for: 469 650 times

Genre: literature for children

The year of release: 1957

This fairy-tale contains 220 words. Uncomplicated and interesting at the same time this story is an absolutely new view of what a book for children should be like. The rhyme «cat» and «hat» gradually accumulated the plot: the boy named Nick and his sister Sally are bored and have no idea what to do. Suddenly a big cat in a hat visits their house.

  1. «1984»

Author: George Orwell

Has been read for: 441 770 times

Genre: anti-utopia

The year of release: 1949

After World War II the world faced the appearance of the new totalitarian super-state Oceania, the inhabitants of which follow the ideology of the Party subordinating to the Big Brother. Winston Smith works for the Ministry of truth and writes a diary in which he expresses disappointment with the reality of his everyday life. He understands how unsafe this is especially when he admits being followed.

  1. «Where the Wild Things are»

Author: Maurice Sendak

Has been read for: 436 016 times

Genre: literature for children

The year of release: 1963

This is a funny picture book. One night in Max’s room a forest starts growing and the brave boy sets off for an endeavor. Also there he finds an ocean, a boat and new lands to discover. After a lengthy journey Max happens to come to a distant land where scary monsters live. Will they manage to make friends?

  1. «To Kill a Mocking Bird»

Author: Harper Lee

Has been read for: 422 912

Genre: formative novel

The year of release: 1960

The plot is set in the 30-s of the 20th century. The State of Alabama. Jean Louise Finch nicknamed Scout tells a story describing the life of a small town, growing up, friendship with a mysterious mister, values and moral. Also the book raises such important issues as racism, social inequality, stigma and how they influence the children’s consciousness.

  1. «Charlotte’s Web»

Author: Elvin Brooks White

Has been read for: 337 948 times

Genre: literature for children

The year of release: 1952

This is a fairy tale novel about the true friendship and devotion. A little girl named Fern saved a pig, raised him and gave him a name Wilbur. On the farm he found himself a friend – a lovely clever spider Charlotte. For some time everything went well until Wilbur’s life appeared under threat. Then Charlotte invents an ingenious plan to save her friend.

  1. «Fahrenheit 451»

Author: Ray Bradbury

Has been read for: 316 404 times

Genre: science fiction

The year of release: 1953

In the measurable future technological progress provides the Americans with comfortable life. Television broadcasts reality-shows and endless soap-operas around the clock. In theatres there are no performances anymore. Film-directors don’t make films. Authors don’t write books. There are no books anymore. They are forbidden by law and for struggling with the remains of the book civilization there is the Department 451.

  1. «How to Win Friends and to Influence People»

Author: Dale Carnegie

Has been read for: 284 524 times

Genre: literature on self-development

The year of release: 1936

This book is a synergy of practical advice and real life stories. The author quotes famous and successful people and uses the experience of his students, friends and acquaintances as examples.

  1. «Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone»

Author: Joan Rowling

Has been read for: 231 022 times

Genre: fantasy

The year of release: 1997

This is a story of an extraordinary destiny of the main character «Harry, just Harry», a boy with a lightning scar on the forehead. His parents were killed by an evil wizard who “seemed to perish as well but this is not known exactly”. The boy was given away to be raised by his only relatives alive – an aunt and an uncle who are scared stiff of magic, conceal its existence and treat their nephew appallingly. However, one night everything is due to change…

  1. «The Very Hungry Caterpillar»

Author: Eric Carle

Has been read for: 189 550 times

Genre: literature for children

The year of release: 1969

A picture book for children tells about a caterpillar before its transformation into a butterfly. The book is printed on cardboard and the bright feature is the presence of holes (which have certainly been left there by the caterpillar itself).

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