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Photograph: Courtesy Max Touhey Photography

The 10 most checked-out books from the NYPL this month

Here's what New Yorkers have been reading while social distancing.

By
Will Gleason
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New Yorkers have been turning to inspiring biographies, dystopian novels and the story of one very famous boy wizard over the last few weeks as they’ve sheltered in place.

Today, the New York Public Library released a list of the top 10 books that have been checked out since the system temporarily closed on March 13. The list includes both instantly recognizable titles (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) as well as some trendy tomes of the moment (Normal People.) 

Coming in at the top of the list is the autobiography of former first lady Michelle Obama, Becoming. (In fact, that book wasn’t just the most checked-out book of the last month but also of the last year.) Also on the list, in the number four spot, is James McBride’s Deacon King Kong—the first selection for the virtual book club being offered by the NYPL in partnership with WNYC.

“For 125 years, The New York Public Library has brought New Yorkers together around reading and learning, offering books, classes, programs, and materials to strengthen our communities,” said Anthony Marx, president of The New York Public Library. “I am proud that we continue to connect New Yorkers, even when we can’t actually be together. Reading provides so much: comfort, an escape, a distraction. I hope this relatively small pleasure helps our communities through a very challenging time.” 

Wondering how you can check out a book yourself? Even though the library’s physical spaces are closed, New Yorkers can still borrow over 300,000 e-books through the system’s e-reader app SimplyE. All you need is a library card.

Check out the full list of what New Yorkers are currently reading below.

1. Becoming by Michelle Obama
2. Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
3. The Dutch House: A Novel by Ann Patchett 
4. Deacon King Kong: A Novel by James McBride
5. The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
6. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb
7. Normal People: A Novel by Sally Rooney
8. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K.  Rowling
9. The Water Dancer: A Novel by Ta-Nehisi Coates
10. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

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