The New York Public Library was founded in 1895, which means this year it has been around for a whopping 125 years!
In celebration of the big anniversary, the NYPL went back in their systems to collect interesting bits of data. They recently announced the top 10 checkouts of all time, which has some predictable numbers but also some surprises!
To come up with the most accurate list, experts at the library analyzed: historic checkout and circulation data, overall trends, current events, popularity, length of time in print, and presence in the library catalog. They also took into account the length of book, awards and acknowledgments, and languages available. So, it was a very comprehensive process! You can read even more about their methodology here.
And read to the end to find out why one very popular children’s book didn’t make the list (it was because of one of the librarians!).
As reported by the library, the top 10 checkouts are:
1. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats: 485,583 checkouts
2. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss: 469,650 checkouts
3. 1984 by George Orwell: 441,770 checkouts
4. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak: 436,016 checkouts
5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: 422,912 checkouts
6. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White: 337,948 checkouts
7. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury: 316,404 checkouts
8. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie: 284,524 checkouts
9. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling: 231,022 checkouts
10. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle: 189,550 checkouts
Honorable mention (and funny story): Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. According to the NYPL, the classic bedtime story Goodnight Moon should be in the top 10 if not in the number one spot, but a very influential children’s librarian named Anne Carroll Moore actually hated the book when it first came out! So, the library didn’t end up carrying it until 1972.
featured image source: Facebook / NYPL The New York Public Library