The 10 Most Checked-Out Books at the NYPL In 2020

How many of these books did you read this year?
How many of these books did you read this year? / Jonathan Blanc / NYPL

In a year when many of us couldn’t leave our homes for long periods of time or travel to distant locations, books have been a welcome escape or a way to broaden our perspectives—a reality that can be seen in the top books checked out of the New York Public Library in 2020, SILive reports.

“The city’s most borrowed books reflect the historic challenges that have impacted New Yorkers during 2020, including a global pandemic, unprecedented isolation, issues of social justice, and a country divided,” the institution said in a press release. Because branches of the library were closed from March through July due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the check-outs were electronic.

“Books and stories are so powerful, and this year, we hope the most borrowed titles made a positive impact on a city coping with so much,” Lynn Lobash, NYPL’s assistant director of Reader Services, said. NYPL’s Top 10 list is below. How many did you read this year?

The New York Public Library’s 10 Most Checked-Out Books of 2020

  1. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  2. White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
  3. The Glass Hotel: A Novel by Emily St. John Mandel
  4. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  5. The Dutch House: A Novel by Ann Patchett
  6. The Nickel Boys: A Novel by Colson Whitehead
  7. Educated by Tara Westover
  8. Becoming by Michelle Obama
  9. Normal People: A Novel by Sally Rooney
  10. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb

If you’re looking for more books to read and ways to interact heading into 2021, consider joining the library’s virtual book club, or head to the site that will help you figure out what to read next.