ACT News


The most in demand books at Libraries ACT in 2017 revealed

What can we tell about Canberrans from their library habits?

In 2016 they were figuring out how to tidy their houses, while last year they were figuring out their finances.

That's according to a list of the territory's most popular library books of 2017, which showed memoirs and self help books were some Canberrans' favourite genres to read. 

The Barefoot Investor: the only money guide you'll ever need by Scott Pape was the most requested book across Libraries ACT last year, also topping the nation's best seller list.

But not all the territory's favourite reads were the same as the best sellers, with Mark Colvin's memoir and Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis both making the top five despite being absent from the best seller list.

Hillbilly Elegy - which portrays the white underclass of America -  became in demand with the election of Donald Trump. 


While journalist Mark Colvin's death saw his memoir, originally published in 2016, make a resurgence in popularity.

Sarah Steed, from Libraries ACT, said it was common for ACT readers to be looking for some self-help or to enjoy a memoir. 

"The top most requested books each year tend to have quite a bit of non-fiction," she said. 

"I think one of the things to consider with libraries is they are a great place to taste-test books and decide if you really want to buy them."

Last year a book written by Japanese organising expert Marie Kondo, Life-changing magic of tidying up, topped the most requested list. 

She also made the top five last year with Spark Joy: A Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up.

Minister for Transport and City Services Meegan Fitzharris said about 2.74 million items were borrowed from ACT public libraries every year.

"Our libraries play an integral role in the everyday lives of Canberrans whether it be for education or entertainment," she said. 

"I enjoy seeing these lists compiled each year as it not only demonstrates the variety in both what our public libraries offer and in our individual interests, and it also gives me ideas for what to pop on my bedside table over the coming year."

The most requested books (fiction and non-fiction) in 2017 were:

  • The Barefoot Investor: The only money guide you'll ever need by Scott Pape
  • Light and Shadow: Memoirs of a spy's son by Mark Colvin
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F- - -: A counterintuitive approach to living a good life by Mark Manson
  • Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a family and culture in crisis by J. D. Vance
  • Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

The most requested DVDs in 2017 were:

  • The Girl on the Train
  • Game of Thrones: the Complete Sixth Series
  • Sully
  • The Light Between Oceans
  • The Accountant