Plenty of free time, long car trips, and lazy afternoons at the cottage all require one thing – a good book.
And books are certainly flying off the shelves at libraries across the region, with summer book clubs and children’s programs filling up.
“The summer reading club is a huge draw. We have lots of programs going on, weekly programs, entertainers. So that really brings the kids in to the library and they’re taking out lots of books and reading quite a bit,” said Heather Woodley, manager of information services at the Region of Waterloo Library.
They’re seeing lots of kids checking out the Geronimo and Thea Stilton books, along with the Diary of Wimpy Kid series. Popular teen books this summer include The Air by Kiera Cass, the newest one in the Selection series, and An Ember in the Ashes, a new fantasy book.
As for adult non-fiction, the newest book about Blackberry, Losing the Signal by Jacquie McNish, has practically flown off the shelf.
“The main one that a lot of people would have seen in the media is Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee. It’s the follow up to To Kill a Mockingbird. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel is really big for our region this season. It’s our one book, one community pick. That’s one that has a lot of holds in the library. It’s been very, very popular,” Woodley said.
Local to Woolwich, Rocky Mountain Locust by Elmira author M.I. Lastman has been popular. Woodley says it was just added to the catalogue and already has people placing holds on it.
“The branches do all have their own individual niches. For example the local Elmira author, that author’s book will be very popular in Elmira and Woolwich Township. This year our New Hamburg branch is celebrating its 100th anniversary and there’s a couple of books about New Hamburg that have quite high holds and are very popular in Wilmot Township,” Woodley said.
Another frequently read book across the region is The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. As a popular author, at all 10 Waterloo Region branches, her new book tells a life of survival during World War 2 in France.
Genres that always seem to be well read include romance, inspirational fiction and fantasy stories for teens.
Readers can look forward to this September, as fall means the busiest publishing month. Mitch Albom will have a new book called The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto and Margaret Atwood’s latest, The Heart Goes Last, will hit the shelves.
“One book that people might be looking forward to is Mindy Kaling’s new book. It’s called Why Not Me? Her previous book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? was very popular, and her television show has also been quite popular,” Woodley said.
In order to keep up with demand, the library keeps a close eye on past circulations to predict what readers will be asking for in the future. When a new James Patterson book comes out, they make sure to have lots of copies.
They also look at promotional material from publishers because the books that are predicted to by them to be highly popular.
“Books that are talked about on the news, on the radio, online, those are getting a lot of notice by our patrons, we want to make sure we have them in the library for them. And also pop culture. So if a book’s going to be made into a movie, there’s probably going to be a resurgence for that book, so we want to make sure we have it on the shelves. Still Alice is a good example of that,” Woodley said.
Readers can check out this summer’s programs and book clubs at www.rwl.library.on.ca.