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Crime author tops library chart

6 February 09 00:41 GMT

US thriller writer James Patterson has retained his position as the most borrowed author from UK libraries.

Patterson, who has penned more than 50 novels, said he was "delighted" to have topped the chart for a second year.

Children's author Dame Jacqueline Wilson, whose work includes the Tracy Beaker stories, was in second place.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was the most borrowed title in the chart for June 2007 to June 2008, according to the Public Lending Right.

Patterson, who is best known for his novels about detective Alex Cross, has sold over 150 million copies of his books worldwide.

See the popularity of James Patterson novels in UK libraries

He said: "I'm absolutely delighted to be the most borrowed author in UK libraries for the second year running.

"I've done much work here in the US with the National Library Association and firmly believe libraries are an integral part of any community and essential in really helping to share and to spread the joy of reading great books.

"It's great to know my stories are so popular with the UK audience and I hope library borrowers look forward to being thoroughly entertained in 2009."

Patterson's nearest adult-fiction rivals were novelists Nora Roberts in fourth, Josephine Cox in seventh and Danielle Steel in eighth.

Author Simon Brett told the BBC he was not surprised that romance and crime novelists were top of the charts.

"I think one of the reasons why crime and romance nip in-and-out of the shelves very quickly is they tend to be quite short and people read them quickly," he said.

"JK Rowling is not in the top ten - she's number 43 - but she has only written seven books and someone like James Patterson, well, goodness knows how many books he has written."

Five of Richard and Judy's TV Book Club recommendations appeared in the UK top 10 of most borrowed titles.

Kate Morton's The House at Riverton was in second place, followed by The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards in third; Relentless by Simon Kernick in fourth; The Other Side of the Bridge by Mary Lawson in fifth and The Savage Garden by Mark Mills in eighth.

But the TV pair's book choices had more of an influence on borrowers in some parts of the UK than others.

Library users in Southern England and Yorkshire and Humberside were more likely to borrow the couple's recommendations than those living in the North, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who prefer crime thrillers and romance novels.

The PLR distributes funds to authors whose books are borrowed by library users.

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