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The most popular books of the past 125 years, and where to get them.
16 January, 2020
- New York Public library is celebrating its 125th birthday in 2020. With over 90 locations across New York City's boroughs, it is the nation's largest public library system.
- Based on circulation data, popularity, trends, and other criteria dating back to 1895, these books are considered the library's most checked-out titles of all time.
- "The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats was checked out 485,583 times and takes the top spot, but one librarian's hatred of another book may have robbed it of the crown.
<p>This year marks the <a href="https://125.nypl.org/125" target="_blank">125th birthday</a> of the New York Public Library. Millions of books have been borrowed from the library's numerous branches around the city since 1895, but some timeless classics have been thumbed through and enjoyed more than others. For its quasquicentennial celebration, the library has shared a list of the ten books that card holders just couldn't get enough of. <br><br>"The books on this list have transcended generations and, much like the Library itself, are as relevant today as they were when they first arrived," said NYPL President Anthony W. Marx in <a href="https://www.npr.org/2020/01/13/795873639/the-new-york-public-library-has-calculated-its-most-checked-out-books-of-all-tim" target="_blank">a statement</a>. "This list tells us something about New Yorkers over the last 125 years — what moves them, what excites them, what stands the test of time." </p><p>Determining which books were the most popular wasn't as simple as checking a computer file. A team of experts reviewed checkout and circulation data, reading trends, the length of the books, the length of time they have been in print and in the catalog, school lists, and the awards and special recognitions that the books have received.</p><p>You should find as many ways as you can to support your local library. Add these books to your borrow list now, or if you can't stand the wait, buy a copy of your own.</p>
<p><em>When you buy something through a link in this article Big Think earns a small affiliate commission. Thank you for supporting our team's work.</em></p></div>
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