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Aussie readers craving local stories about heritage, identity and relationships

Press Release: Civica [May 22, 2017]

Sydney, 22 May, 2017: According to the 2017 Civica Libraries Index, stories about heritage, identity, love and relationships were most popular among the list of most borrowed Australian fiction books from May 2016 to April 2017.

Civica, provider of Australia's leading library system, Spydus, partnering with the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) are announcing the findings to coincide with this year's Library and Information Week (22-28 May). The annual Civica Libraries Index is compiled in partnership with participating regional and metropolitan libraries across Australia using the Civica Spydus integrated library management system. The system was developed in Australia and is used by 2,500 libraries around the world.

Topping the list of most borrowed Australian books was ‘Rain Music' by Di Morrissey, which is inspired by her adventures in far north Queensland and tells the story of two siblings who are struggling with a family tragedy that has set them on opposite paths.

‘Spirits of the Ghan' by Judy Nunn, a period story set during the construction of the Ghan railway, explores family dynamics and cultural collision and ‘Truly Madly Guilty' by Liane Moriarty, which examines marriage, sex, parenthood and friendship peaked at number two and three respectively on the most borrowed Australian fiction books list.

Other high profile Australian authors on the list include popular children's author, Andy Griffiths, who had three books featured on this year's most borrowed Australian books index. Liane Moriarty, whose recent book, ‘Big Little Lies' has been adapted into a television series, also features three times on the list. Hollywood actresses, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman have already optioned for the film rights of Liane's latest novel, 'Truly Madly Guilty', published in 2016.

"We've always loved stories about ourselves. Tales that explore our heritage and identity - addressing what it means to be an Australian – continue to resonate with readers," said Sue McKerracher, Chief Executive Officer of ALIA.

"We're also known for producing unique stories that examine topics such as complex family relationships and it's great to see that Australian writing is also having greater appeal globally as well, with quite a few novels on the list, such as ‘The Light Between The Oceans' and ‘The Dressmaker' enjoying extended success via international film and TV adaptations," said Ms McKerracher.

According to Simon Jones, Libraries and Education Solutions Managing Director at Civica, in addition to TV and film, the rising use of digital technology is influencing reading habits.

"Many of our library customers tell us that readers are increasingly using technology to find, read and share information, whether it's to research a topic or discover a new book - it's now just a click away. This provides library members with far greater opportunities to discover new interests and media, whether it be via books, music, TV or films," said Mr Jones.

Index highlights

Most borrowed

According to the 2017 Civica Libraries Index, novels within the crime, thriller and mystery genres dominated the list of most borrowed library books in Australia, continuing on from last year's trend. This genre made up three quarters of the list.

Lee Child's ‘Make Me', published in 2015 and part of the Jack Reacher series of novels, topped the ranking of most borrowed books in Australia. This was followed by Paula Hawkins' ‘Girl On The Train', which was last year's number one and has no doubt remained a popular reading choice due to its film adaptation being released at the end of 2016.

Other major crime and thriller author to hit the top 20 list of most borrowed included James Patterson, David Baldacci and Michael Connelly.

Non fiction

Lifestyle books and special interest topics were a favourite amongst non-fiction borrowers this year. Japanese de-cluttering guru, Marie Kondo proved highly popular this year, with two of her books on household organisation featuring second and tenth on the list.


Popular Australian comedienne, Magda Szubanski's autobiography, ‘Reckoning' topped the list of most borrowed biography books. Szubanski's memoir, which explores her family history, in particular the life of her father who was an assassin in the Polish resistance during World War II, also topped the most borrowed non-fiction list and reached 17th on the list of most borrowed books.

Young adults (13-18)

Teen fiction author favourite, John Green topped the most borrowed books amongst young adults list, with his novels, ‘The Fault In Our Stars' and ‘Paper Towns' taking out first and second place respectively, while his debut novel, ‘Looking For Alaska' reached ninth place.

Children (0-12)

The ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid' book series by Jeff Kinney and popular Aussie children's book author, Andy Griffiths' Storey book series battled it out on the list of most borrowed junior fiction, with ‘The 65 Storey Treehouse' coming first on the list, just ahead of ‘The Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever'.

About the Civica Libraries Index

The Civica Libraries Index is compiled in partnership with participating libraries using the Civica Spydus integrated library management system. Loan data is collected, compiled and analysed for the calendar year for a range of audiences and categories. Civica reviewed more than 28.4 million library book loans across Australia to help determine the country's most popular books. Data was gathered over a 12 month period from May 2016 to April 2017. All information on borrowing behaviours is collected anonymously. Civica is Australia's leading provider of library information, collection, management and library staffing solutions. More information about Civica can be found at:

About Civica

Civica is a market-leading specialist in digital solutions, critical software applications and outsourcing services that help teams and organisations around the world to transform the way they work. Combining exceptional customer focus, experience and commitment, Civica supplies more than 4,000 organisations in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, the UK and the USA.

About the Australian Library and Information Association

The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) is the professional organisation for the Australian library and information services sector. With 5,000 members across Australia, we provide the national voice of the profession in the development, promotion and delivery of quality library and information services, through leadership, advocacy and mutual support.

View Citation
Publication Year:2017
Type of Material:Press Release
Language English
Issue:May 22, 2017
Company: Civica
Record Number:22619
Last Update:2024-04-10 18:38:09
Date Created:2017-05-24 11:36:47