May 18, 2022

Just Released: The Top 10 Most Borrowed Books and Audiobooks From UK Public Libraries, 2014-2015

New data from Public Lending Right UK (PLR UK) released today. What is Public Lending Right? Learn More Here.

Print Books

From Announcement #1:

2016-02-05_12-17-15UK public libraries continue to foster an appetite for reading among the nation’s children, according to the latest annual data released today by Public Lending Right (PLR) on the eve of National Libraries Day.

Children’s authors are strongly represented in the most borrowed listings with five children’s authors among the Top 10 Most Borrowed Authors in UK libraries. They dominate amongst the four authors who clocked-up over 1,000,000 loans from UK public libraries during 2014-15. The three are former Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson; Daisy Meadows, the brand behind the “Rainbow Magic” series and Francesca Simon, author of the “Horrid Henry” series. The fourth is thriller writer James Patterson, who also topped the chart for the ninth year running.


Source: PLR UK/BL


Source: PLR UK/BL

Read the Complete Announcement For Additional Analysis


From Release #2

This year, PLR has opened up for new business. The Digital Economy Act, passed in March 2010, cleared the way for the legislation to be extended to include public library loans of audio-books and ebooks downloaded to library premises for taking away as loans.

While the latter is still restricted by legislation about how ebooks may be borrowed, the former is now up and running. The new arrangements to reflect and reward this new business officially began on 1 July 2014, at the start of the first year in which loans data for audio-book borrowing could be collected in readiness for the PLR payment distribution in February 2016.


Source: PLR UK/BL

The final release (#3) shares some interesting facts and stats about books borrowed from UK public libraries during 2014-2015.

For Example:


The UK’s favourite cookery book for the second year running was Jamie Oliver’s Save with Jamie: Shop Smart, Cook Clever, Waste Less and it was the most borrowed cookery book from every region in the UK during 2014-15 except for Northern Ireland. In Northern Ireland borrowers favoured Mary Berry Cooks the Perfect.


The most borrowed book across the UK in the humour category was Bart Simpson: Big Shot! by Matt Groening. Simpson’s comics proved popular in London (Meltdown) and the North West & Merseyside (Dollars to Donuts). While in Scotland their number one choice was Bart Simpson: Out to Lunch. Borrowers in the South East preferred Is it Really Too Much to Ask? by Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Porter’s Top Gear Epic Failures was the top choice in Wales.

More about borrowing in the UK via the complete full text media release.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.