The New York Public Library's 10 Most Checked-Out Books of 2019

Miles Astray/iStock via Getty Images
Miles Astray/iStock via Getty Images / Miles Astray/iStock via Getty Images

With 92 locations, about 17 million patrons, and more than 55 million items, the New York Public Library (NYPL) system is just as strong as the stone lions that flank the entrance to its main branch at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.

Considering how many books there are to choose from—and how different people’s preferences can be—it seems like it’s anyone’s guess as to which ones were checked out most often this year. Luckily for us, we don’t even have to guess: The NYPL just shared its top 10 list.

The top spot went to Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming, which has captivated readers around the nation since its release in November 2018. If you’re a frequent subway rider, this news probably doesn’t surprise you—it seems like there’s always at least one person reading it in every train car.

The runner-up, Educated: A Memoir, is Tara Westover’s story of leaving her survivalist family in the mountains of Idaho to pursue a college education, though she had never previously set foot in a classroom. Ironically, Barack Obama named it one of his favorite books of 2018 (though Becoming, of course, was at the top of his list).

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng came in third—up three spots from last year’s list—followed by Jodi Picoult’s latest novel, A Spark of Light, in the fourth spot.

Also in the top 10 is Delia Owens’s debut novel Where the Crawdads Sing, a book that evidently prompted people to wonder what a crawdad actually is: Merriam-Webster included crawdad on its annual list of most-searched words.

In summary, New Yorkers have pretty great taste in literature. See the full list below, and check out some more must-read books here.

  1. Becoming // Michelle Obama ($12)
  2. Educated: A Memoir // Tara Westover ($14)
  3. Little Fires Everywhere // Celeste Ng ($10)
  4. A Spark of Light // Jodi Picoult ($10)
  5. Where the Crawdads Sing // Delia Owens ($10)
  6. Pachinko // Min Jin Lee ($9)
  7. Circe // Madeline Miller ($15)
  8. Nine Perfect Strangers // Liane Moriarty ($13)
  9. Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup // John Carreyrou ($16)
  10. Milkman // Anna Burns ($8)

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