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US author is UK library favourite

8 February 08 11:58 GMT

US thriller writer James Patterson has become the UK's most borrowed author, with his books taken out of libraries 1.5 million times in 12 months.

He has overtaken children's writer Dame Jacqueline Wilson, whose books have dominated for the past four years.

Patterson is best known for his crime thrillers featuring detective Alex Cross. His website states he has sold more than 130m books worldwide.

The list, compiled by Public Lending Right, covered the year to June 2007.

Even though Patterson is the most popular author, the most popular book is At Risk by another American thriller writer, Patricia Cornwell.

Overall, there has been a decline in the number of books borrowed. But children's fiction is popular, with five of the top 10 authors writing for the under-15s.

JK Rowling's Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was the most borrowed children's book.

The Meaning of the 21st Century by Dr James Martin, which deals with global warming and the future of humanity, topped the non-fiction list.

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