We know what movies we watch and what books we and our loved ones read, but sometimes we wonder—how much do we have in common with complete strangers? What books are they reading? As it turns out—mostly children’s books.
The New York Public Library published a list of the most checked-out books of all time to celebrate its 125th year of existence. At the top of the list is a diverse children’s book titled ‘The Snowy Day’ about a boy enjoying the snowfall. Since being published back in 1962, it’s been checked-out a whopping 485,583 times!
You’ll also be happy to know that mah homie Harry Potter, the incredibly talented Boy Who Lived, wizard extraoirdinaire, and slayer of evil forces, also made it to the top-10 list. Meanwhile, there are rumors floating about that the #1 slot would have been taken by a book other than ‘The Snowy Day.’
1. “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats (485,583 checkouts)
Image credits: Ezra Jack Keats / Amazon
2. “The Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Seuss (469,650)
Image credits: Dr. Seuss / Amazon
3. “1984” by George Orwell (441,770)
Image credits: George Orwell / Amazon
4. “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak (436,016)
Image credits: Maurice Sendak / Amazon
5. “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee (422,912)
Image credits: Harper Lee / Amazon
6. “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White (337,948)
Image credits: E.B. White / Amazon
7. “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury (316,404)
Image credits: Ray Bradbury / Amazon
8. “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie (284,524)
Image credits: Dale Carnegie / Amazon
9. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling (231,022)
Image credits: J.K. Rowling / Amazon
10. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle (189,550)
Image credits: Eric Carle / Amazon
According to a representative of the New York Public Library, some children’s books that we know and love and expected to see on the list are missing from it. Specifically, the 1947 classic ‘Goodnight Moon’ that the Public Library only put on its shelves in 1972. There’s a really good reason it’s missing even though it’d probably be in the #1 spot by now.
“By all measures, this book should be a top checkout (in fact, it might be the top checkout) if not for an odd piece of history: extremely influential New York Public Library children’s librarian Anne Carroll Moore hated ‘Goodnight Moon’ when it first came out,” the Library representative explained.
Honorable mention: “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown
Image credits: Margaret Wise Brown / Amazon
There’s a whole bunch of children’s books on the NYPL list and it has everything to do with their length. The shorter the book is, the greater its circulation. So keep that in mind when you’re writing the next Great American Novel.
Andrew Medlar, one of the experts who helped compile the list, told CNN that New Yorkers are still streaming into the library. That means the Public Library’s goal is the same as it was 125 years ago. That is, providing New Yorkers with “knowledge, information and a lot of great books.”
Here’s the full list of the New York Public Library’s top checkouts:
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
Let us know which of these books you’ve read and why you loved them, dear Pandas! Personally, I still can’t believe ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ didn’t manage to slink its way up to at least the top 5!
Here’s what some people thought of the NYPL’s list of most checked-out books