New York City’s Three Public Library Systems Reveal the Top Checkouts of 2023

Brooklyn Public Library, The New York Public Library, and Queens Public Library unveil the top ten titles for adults, teens, and children



New Yorkers across the five boroughs read Spare by Prince Harry and Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus 

DECEMBER 19, 2023—Brooklyn Public Library, The New York Public Library, and Queens Public Library have announced the top 10 checkouts of 2023 at each system for adults, teens, and children.

The annual lists include the most popular books patrons borrowed from New York City’s three library systems. The top checkout for the Brooklyn Public Library was I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy, while the most borrowed book at The New York Public Library (which serves the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island) was Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus, and Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros was the favorite of patrons at Queens Public Library. 

Both Spare by Prince Harry and Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus were popular titles in all five boroughs, while Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin and It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover were featured books on all three system-wide lists.

Some of the books on the lists were featured titles on WNYC’s “Get Lit!” virtual book club, a partnership with The New York Public Library, which was started at the height of the pandemic and has led to thousands of checkouts over the past three years. Yellowface by R. F. Kuang and The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride were top checkouts at NYPL.

The top titles include all formats: e-books, audio books, and physical books. The full lists of 2023 top checkouts can be found at NYPL (www.nypl.org/topcheckouts2023), BPL (bklynlib.org/top-checkouts-2023); or QPL (connect.queenslibrary.org/2342).

TOP 10 ADULT TITLES

Brooklyn Public Library

  1. I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy
  2. Spare by Prince Harry
  3. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
  4. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
  5. Book Lovers by Emily Henry
  6. Happy Place by Emily Henry
  7. The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
  8. Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson
  9. It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
  10. Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

New York Public Library (which includes the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island)

Systemwide:

  1. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
  2. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
  3. Spare by Prince Harry
  4. Book Lovers by Emily Henry
  5. Verity by Colleen Hoover
  6. Yellowface by R. F. Kuang
  7. The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride
  8. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  9. It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
  10. Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Bronx:

  1. Spare by Prince Harry
  2. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
  3. It Starts with Us by Colleen Hoover
  4. I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy
  5. Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano
  6. Without a Trace by Danielle Steel
  7. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  8. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear
  9. TIE Triple Cross by James Patterson
  10. TIE 3 Days to Live by James Patterson

Manhattan:

  1. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
  2. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
  3. Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano
  4. I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy
  5. Spare by Prince Harry
  6. Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson
  7. Crying in H Mart: A Memoir by Michelle Zauner
  8. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  9. Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan
  10. Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

Staten Island

  1. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
  2. It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover
  3. Spare by Prince Harry
  4. The Boys from Biloxi by John Grisham
  5. Simply Lies by David Baldacci
  6. Without a Trace by Danielle Steel
  7. Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano
  8. The 23rd Midnight by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro
  9. Worthy Opponents by Danielle Steel
  10. Loyalty by Lisa Scottoline
     

Queens Public Library 

  1. Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros
  2. Spare by Prince Harry
  3. Tomorrow, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
  4. I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy
  5. It Starts with Us by Colleen Hoover
  6. It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
  7. The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese
  8. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
  9. Verity by Colleen Hoover
  10. 101 Essays that Will Change the Way You Think by Brianna Wiest

“The titles checked out at The New York Public Library this year reflect stories that resonated with people—books that shared tales of hope, chronicle the impact of family and friends, and the search for love and acceptance. It’s not surprising to see these titles at the top of our lists as they give readers the opportunity to learn more about themselves and the world around them, which is at the very heart of the Library’s mission. So, we find it incredibly gratifying that New Yorkers are finding books that speak to them,” said Brian Bannon, The New York Public Library's Merryl and James Tisch Director of Branch Libraries and Education. 

“This year’s top checkouts reflect a changing of the guard. In the past our readers leaned towards popular romance and suspense novelists, like Danielle Steel, John Grisham or Stephen King. This year they were drawn to writers of color, like Gabrielle Zevin and Abraham Verghese, and authors whose popularity soared after they went viral on social media, like Rebecca Yarros, Colleen Hoover and Brianna Wiest. These choices signal a desire to explore new themes as well as changes in the way our customers discover and engage with books,” said Queens Public Library Chief Librarian Nick Buron.

“This year Brooklyn Public Library circulated nearly 10 million books and materials.  Against a record number of bans, primarily targeting books about the LGBQTIA community or about people of color, we are especially delighted to see our most checked out items are from authors around the corner and around the globe, echoing the themes that matter to all of us—family and friends, love and grief, success and survival,” said Nick Higgins, Chief Librarian at Brooklyn Public Library.

The top checkouts for children’s books at the three library systems featured titles from popular series, such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, Dog Man by Dav Pilkey, and Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling. For young adults, book series were also popular selections with A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy by Jenny Han, and Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games featuring throughout the lists.

The top 10 books for children and teens are listed below. 

TOP 10 BOOKS FOR CHILDREN
 

Brooklyn Public Library Top 10 Checkouts for Children

  1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Big Shot by Jeff Kinney
  3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End by Jeff Kinney
  4. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
  5. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling
  6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
  7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball by Jeff Kinney
  8. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling
  9. Kristy and the Snobs by Ann M. Martin
  10. Guts by Raina Telgemeier

New York Public Library Top 10 Checkouts for Children

  1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Big Shot by Jeff Kinney
  2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffley's Journal by Jeff Kinney
  3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney
  4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney
  5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball by Jeff Kinney
  6. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End by Jeff Kinney
  7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down by Jeff Kinney
  8. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway by Jeff Kinney
  9. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth by Jeff Kinney
  10. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney

Queens Public Library Top 10 Checkouts for Children

  1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Big Shot by Jeff Kinney
  2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Diper Överlöde by Jeff Kinney
  3. Dog Man: Mothering Heights by Dav Pilkey
  4. Dog Man: Fetch-22 by Dav Pilkey
  5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End by Jeff Kinney
  6. Dog Man: Grime and Punishment by Dav Pilkey
  7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney
  8. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown by Jeff Kinney
  9. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball by Jeff Kinney
  10. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney

 

TOP 10 LISTS FOR YOUNG ADULTS

Brooklyn Public Library Top 10 Checkouts for Young Adults

  1. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
  2. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  3. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
  4. One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
  5. The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  6. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
  7. One Piece by Eiichiro Oda
  8. Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto
  9. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
  10. The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

New York Public Library Top 10 Checkouts for Young Adults

  1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  2. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
  3. It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
  4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  5. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
  6. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  7. One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
  8. We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han
  9. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
  10. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Queens Public Library Top 10 Checkouts for Young Adults

  1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  2. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
  3. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
  4. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
  5. It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
  6. We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han
  7. One Piece by Eiichiro Oda
  8. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  9. A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas
  10. If He Had Been with Me by Laura Nowlin
     

About Brooklyn Public Library

Brooklyn Public Library is one of the nation’s largest library systems and among New York City’s most democratic institutions. As a leader in developing modern 21st century libraries, we provide resources to support personal advancement, foster civic literacy, and strengthen the fabric of community among the more than 2.6 million individuals who call Brooklyn home. We provide nearly 65,000 free programs a year with writers, thinkers, artists, and educators—from around the corner and around the world. And we give patrons millions of opportunities to enjoy one of life’s greatest satisfactions: the joy of a good book.

About The New York Public Library

For over 125 years, The New York Public Library has been a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With over 90 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library receives millions of visits through its doors annually with millions more around the globe who use its resources at www.nypl.org. To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support the Library at nypl.org/support.

About Queens Public Library

Queens Public Library is one of the largest and busiest public library systems in the United States, dedicated to serving the most ethnically and culturally diverse area in the country. An independent, non-profit organization founded in 1896, Queens Public Library offers free access to a collection of more than 5 million books and other materials in multiple languages, technology and digital resources, and more than 80,000 educational, cultural, and civic programs annually. QPL consists of 66 locations across the borough, including branch libraries, a Central Library, seven adult learning centers, a technology center, one universal pre-kindergarten, and two teen centers that attracted more than 11 million visitors in 2019. 

 

Media Contacts

NYPL: Amy Geduldig, amygeduldig@nypl.org
BPL: Fritzi Bodenheimer, fbodenheimer@bklynlibrary.org
QPL: Elisabeth de Bourbon, edebourbon@queenslibrary.org