Surrey readers' love of thrillers fuelling a big rise in ebook loans from county libraries

First published in News

Surrey readers’ love of a thriller has fuelled a near 100% rise in ebook loans from libraries.

Surrey County Council said this week that the number of ebooks borrowed from its libraries in the first six months of this year climbed to 29,390, compared to 15,267 for the same period in 2013.

The council said the increase follows a growing trend which has seen online library use overtake visits to branches.

It said Surrey’s most popular ebook this year has been Lee Child’s Echo Burning, from the Jack Reacher series.

Also in the top five is Child’s The Enemy, from the same Reacher series, which was turned into a film starring Tom Cruise, and thrillers or suspense novels by Harlan Coben and Rachel Abbott.

The news of the rise in thriller reading comes after World Cup fever saw loans of children’s sports books from libraries rocket by 70% compared with the same time last year. Surrey’s love of romance fiction is already well-known after it was revealed that the county is a UK library lending hotspot for Fifty Shades of Grey and its sequels.

Surrey County Council deputy leader Peter Martin said: “People in Surrey obviously can’t get enough of Jack Reacher novels and other thrillers from hugely popular authors on their ereaders.”

Coun Martin said: “These novels might not suit everyone’s tastes, but we’ve got a whole range of ebooks available to download, and shelves in our libraries are stacked with around 1.7 million books to borrow.

“The way people borrow and read books is undergoing a digital revolution.”

He added: “In Surrey we’re embracing these changing trends to ensure people can experience the joy of a good read from the library, no matter how they choose to borrow a book.”

The most popular fiction ebooks borrowed from Surrey’s libraries this year include Echo Burning from the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child, Darkest Fear from the Myron Bolitar series by Harlan Coben, The Back Road by Rachel Abbott, and The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. Older ebooks, such as Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, also feature in the most popular list.

To find out more about borrowing ebooks, visit your local library or visit the council's website at: www.surreycc.gov.uk

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