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Brooklyn Public Library
Photograph: Gregg Richards

These are the most borrowed books of all time at the Brooklyn Public Library

The list will surprise you.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan
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For the past month, the Brooklyn Public Library has been slowly going through its list of 125 most borrowed books of all time on Instagram, showcasing a few entries each day. 

Today, the countdown comes to a conclusion, with the library officially revealing the titles of the five most borrowed books in its 125-year history.

As announced on social media, the list is as follows:

1. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

2. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

3. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

4. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

5. Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman

Interestingly enough, although the top five are mostly kids’ books, the overall ranking includes a variety of classics. Some standouts: Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women (#10), Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 (#39), Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye (#75), Art Spiegelman's Maus (#104), Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife (#119) and Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume (#125).

According to Gothamist, to come up with its list, the library looked at the annual reports it has been keeping since opening in 1896. “They looked at circulation data, book-buying records, bestseller lists, and historical documents to identify popular hits,” explains the outlet. 

Through the process, which took about two months to complete, the staff also discovered that beginning in the 1950s, the institution started lending framed art for three months at a time for a mere $0.25. Imagine re-decorating your apartment every so often for that much today. A dream indeed!

Although the art-lending doesn't exactly work the same way anymore, few New Yorkers know that there are a bunch of non-book things that patrons can still get for free at the library, including instruments, seeds, board games, vinyl records, telescopes and language lessons. How cool!

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