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British crime and thriller writers are being bumped off by their American counterparts, according to the latest league table of the Most Borrowed Adult Fiction Titles in UK libraries, released today by Public Lending Right on the eve of the UK’s National Libraries Day.

No less than 17 novels by U.S.-based crime and thriller writers appear in the Top 20 Most Borrowed Adult Fiction Titles list. Nine of them were written—or co-written—by James Patterson, including the Most Borrowed Title of 2011-12, 10th Anniversary.

For the sixth year running, James Patterson also retains his crown as the UK’s Most Borrowed Author. In total, 10 U.S.-based authors writing in the crime and thriller genres appear in the Top 20 Most Borrowed Authors list. Only MC Beaton, Ian Rankin and Agatha Christie represent UK crime and thriller writers.

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As PLR celebrates 30 years of making annual payments to authors for the loan of their books through public libraries, a look back at the Top 10 Most Borrowed Adult Fiction Authors in 1983 reveals a very different picture. Then, British romantic fiction writers held sway in libraries, and Catherine Cookson was the UK’s Most Borrowed Author, a position she would hold for 20 years.

UK’s 20 Most Borrowed Adult Fiction Authors, 2011-12

1. James Patterson
2. Nora Roberts
3. MC Beaton
4. Danielle Steel
5. Clive Cussler
6. Anna Jacobs
7. Lee Child
8. David Baldacci
9. Michael Connelly
10. Harlan Coben
11. Katie Flynn
12. Tess Gerritsen
13. Josephine Cox
14. Alexander McCall Smith
15. John Grisham
16. Jodi Picoult
17. JD Robb
18. Jeffrey Deaver
19. Agatha Christie
20. Ian Rankin

UK’s 10 Most Borrowed Adult Fiction Authors, 1982-83

1. Catherine Cookson
2. Victoria Holt
3. Barbara Cartland
4. Dorothy Eden
5. Evelyn Anthony
6. JT Edson
7. Margaret Pargeter
8. Danielle Steel
9. Harold Robbins
10. James Herriot

The crown for the most “evergreen” author in UK libraries over the past 30 years also belongs to an American writer. Danielle Steel is the only name to appear in every annual Top 10 Most Borrowed Adult Fiction Authors list for the past three decades.

 
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