What Woburnites Are Reading: Woburn Public Library’s 10 Most Borrowed Books in 2022

WOBURN – What led more than 115,000 visitors to stop by the Woburn Public Library (WPL) last year?

Many were interested in borrowing books, DVDs, audio CDs and electronic games.  Others were conducting research, attending special programs for children and adults, looking for a quiet place to work, finishing homework or gaming with friends in the Teen Room.

For those in search of an engaging story, a novel in the Jack Reacher series topped the list of the Library’s most borrowed adult fiction in 2022.  You know a good mystery is ahead when the main character in Better Off Dead by Lee Child and Andrew Child wonders, “Digging graves had not been part of my plans when I woke up that morning.”  It is interesting to note that nine of last year’s most borrowed novels were written by women.

The Top 10 Most Borrowed Adult Fiction in 2022 include:

  1. Better Off Dead by Lee Child & Andrew Child
  2. The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
  3. The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand
  4. Book Lovers by Emily Henry
  5. Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult
  6. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  7. Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty
  8. It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
  9. Game On: Tempting Twenty-Eight by Janet Evanovich
  10. (tie) The Dark Hours by Michael Connelly
  11. (tie) Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout

Based upon their book selections, readers are as curious about where they live as they are about exploring new destinations.  Three of the top four non-fiction books tell the history of Woburn and its evolving population, with the most popular one written by Kathleen M. O’Doherty, the former WPL Director.  Travel guides were popular within non-fiction, along with biographies, self-improvement, and creative topics such as crafts and gardening.”

Top 10 Adult Non-Fiction

1. Woburn by Kathleen M. O’Doherty
2. Going There by Katie Couric
3. Woburn, a Past Observed: A Civic, Social, and Political History of Woburn, Massachusetts by John D. McElhiney
4. Woburn: Hidden Tales of a Tannery Town by Marie Coady
5. Becoming by Michelle Obama
6. Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear
7. Enough Already: Learning to Love the Way I Am Today by Valerie Bertinelli
8. Cut Paper Pictures: Turn Your Art and Photos into Personalized Collages by Clover Robin
9. Ubuntu Linux Bible by David Clinton and Christopher Negus
10. (tie) Fodor’s New England
10. (tie) Best Gardening Plants for New England by Thomas J. Mickey
10. (tie) Your Guide to National Parks by Michael Joseph Oswald
10. (tie) The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō

Popular author Sarah J. Maas scored three books in the top ten teen-fiction category, and perennial favorite Adam Silvera’s They Both Die at the End placed fifth.  Multi-part series continue to rate highly, with the first-, second- and sixth-place titles being the middle books in trilogies.  Teens also enjoy manga and graphic novels such as the Heartstopper series that is also available on Netflix.

Top 10 Teen Fiction

  1. The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  2. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  3. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
  4. Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert
  5. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
  6. Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman
  7. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
  8. The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas
  9. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Part 4, Diamond is Unbreakable by Hirohiko Araki
  10. Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto

The Woburn Public Library’s top ten children’s books (actually the majority of WPL’s top 100 children’s books!) are from just a few popular series.  The Library has multiple copies of these books because it can’t keep them on the shelf!  The big winners were graphic novel series like Dog Man by Dav Pilkey, the Smile trilogy by Raina Telgemeier, and Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce, and the early reader series Gerald & Piggie by Mo Willems.

Top 10 Children’s Fiction

  1. Dog Man: Fetch-22 by Dav Pilkey
  2. Pigs Make Me Sneeze!: An Elephant & Piggie Book by Mo Willems
  3. Yotsuba&! by Kiyohiko Azuma
  4. Guts by Raina Telgemeier
  5. Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
  6. Are You Ready to Play Outside? by Mo Willems
  7. Dog Man. Lord of the Fleas by Dav Pilkey
  8. I Love My New Toy! by Mo Willems
  9. My New Friend is So Fun! by Mo Willems
  10. Waiting is Not Easy! by Mo Willems

The Library recently enacted a five-year strategic plan to broaden its reach into Woburn’s rapidly changing community.  Goals include increasing the variety of adult and youth services with a focus on programming for underserved groups, raising awareness and usage of existing resources, services and spaces, and expanding and diversifying the Library’s collections.  The WPL will also enlarge and promote its selection of discounted museum passes and the unique, non-traditional offerings of the Library of Things, such as mobile hotspots, device chargers, equipment for the visually impaired, telescopes, a sewing machine, and even a ukulele.

The Woburn Public Library was founded in 1856.  The main building, designed by acclaimed architect H. H. Richardson, is a National Historic Landmark built in 1879.  The Library more than doubled its capacity in 2019 when it opened a modern addition that houses a spacious Children’s Library, Teen Room, a Maker Space, a large community meeting room, as well as areas for studying, meeting and quiet reading.