Library lending figures: Three cheers for children's books - but where is JK Rowling? - Telegraph

Library Lenbding Figures & Children's Books

Felicity Capon, in the Telegraph, takes stock of library lending figures in relation to children's books [all bolding of text by me]:

Library lending figures: Three cheers for children's books - but where is JK Rowling? Public library lending figures show that children's borrowing has increased. But there are some unusual omissions.

On first hearing, it's heartening to learn that children's public library borrowing figures are on the increase. Despite the closure of public libraries, public spending cuts and the news reports telling us that children spend too much time glued to computer screens, the figures for the last five years that show an increase from 74 million in 2005 to 81.8 million in 2012 prove that reading remains an integral part of a child's formative years.
Indeed, six of the overall top ten most borrowed authors released by the Public Lending Right are children's authors, and figures show that once again, children's borrowing figures are on the up.
There are some beautiful and beloved children's characters on the list. The much-loved Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson takes a well-deserved overall third place, with Francesca Simon's Horrid Henry series in fifth, Dame Jaqueline Wilson in sixth and Mick Inkpen, author of the adorable Kipper the Dog series, at ninth. Inkpen, despite shunning the limelight, has featured on the lists since 1997.
Yet there's something slightly grating about hearing that the most popular children's author overall, coming in at second place behind the formidable James Patterson, is not one author, but several. Daisy Meadows, the multiple-author brand behind the Rainbow Magic series has been the overall second most borrowed author for three years in a row. The Rainbow Magic brand has published over 100 books containing 100 fairies since 2003.
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It is heartwarming then to see that Dahl has retained his paper crown; once again he is the most popular author on the overall classics list, beating Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Shakespeare. It's an accolade he has gained for the past three years, following an impressively long stint in both the most borrowed children's list and most borrowed classic children's list. It is the BFG, described by Michael Rosen in his top ten Roald Dahl's characters as "huge, kind, fearful, rude, loving and middle-headed" that is this year's most borrowed children's classics title. I'd back the BFG against Kate the Royal Wedding Fairy any day of the week.
What does seem a mystery of Hogwartian proportions is the lack of Harry Potter. JK Rowling fails to make it into the top twenty of the most borrowed children's authors, only managing to appear in 96th place. Despite being the most borrowed titles overall in 2001/2, 2003/4 and 2007/8, she seems to have fallen off the radar since the saga came to an end.This seems staggering considering the phenomenal sales of the seven-book series. Yet it is probably because there are only seven Harry Potter books that JK Rowling's place has slipped. That and the likelihood that many children may have preferred to own the books, rather than borrow them.
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