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Ta-Nehisi Coates tops the list of most popular books at the New York Public Library in 2017

Will Gleason
Written by
Will Gleason

Not surprisingly, books with socially-charged themes dominated the list of most checked-out books from the New York Public Library over the last turbulent year.

The library system announced this week that circulation was up seven percent across its 92 locations in the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island in 2017, with roughly 24 million items circulated overall. The book that landed on top of this year’s list was Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. The runner-up was Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad: A Novel and Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance came in third.

“For over 100 years, The New York Public Library has stood as a symbol of open and free access to information, offering collaborative spaces where New Yorkers of all walks of life can find opportunities to learn, evolve, and succeed,” said NYPL President Tony Marx. “As we approach the New Year, it’s important that we have the opportunity to take stock and reflect on 2017. Considering this year’s top checkouts at the Library and the increase in circulation, it is evident that New Yorkers are seeking insight and perspective into the great many changes we’ve faced as a society.”

In Manhattan, the most checked out book was The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, likely spurred by the popular Hulu adaptation as well as the less popular presidential administration. See the full list of the top ten books systemwide below.

1. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

2. The Underground Railroad: A Novel by Colson Whitehead

3. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance

4. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

5. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

6. The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

7. The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis

8. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

9. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

10. Commonwealth: A Novel by Ann Patchett

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