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Press Release: Civica [May 21, 2019]

More than a third of our most borrowed books headed for La La Land

Sydney, 21 May, 2019: The 2019 Civica Libraries Index reveals similarities among the tastes of book lovers and movie buffs, with many of the most borrowed books from libraries across Australia and New Zealand headed to the big screen. The Index reveals seven of the top 20 titles are set to be adapted to films or television series, with stories authored by Australians becoming increasingly popular choices for adaptations, both locally and globally.

Civica, provider of the cloud-based Spydus library management system to schools, TAFEs and local government, partnered with the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) to create the 2019 Civica Libraries Index. The Index, now in its fourth year, assessed borrowing data from regional and metropolitan libraries across Australia and New Zealand between 1st April 2018 and 31st March 2019.

At the top of this year's list is Lee Child's newest Jack Reacher novel, The Midnight Line, which depicts a journey for justice, beating Child's Night School, which slipped one place from its top rank in 2018. The Jack Reacher series has already been released on the big screen by Paramount Pictures, with Tom Cruise starring as the ex-US army major, and is set to be developed into a brand-new television series.

Australian stories prove popular in Hollywood

Three of the top 20 titles are Australian novels set to be developed into screen productions, highlighting the increasing popularity of Australian stories for film adaptations. After the success of Australian author Liane Moriarty's TV series based on her novel Big Little Lies, two more of Moriarty's titles are set to hit Hollywood.

Moriarty's Nine Perfect Strangers (#20) has been picked up to become a TV series for US streaming giant Hulu, a story about uncovering the secrets of people in an exclusive health retreat. This becomes the second of Moriarty's titles in the top 20 to be adapted, Truly Madly Guilty (#18) was picked up by Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, the celebrities in Big Little Lies. In Truly Madly Guilty Moriarty continues her style of injecting drama into mundane family scenarios, this time describing the terrible events around a disastrous barbecue.

Jane Harper's debut hit The Dry (#7) is set to be developed into a film starring Australian Eric Bana as investigator Aaron Faulk, who uncovers a murder suicide against the dramatic backdrop of the harsh Australian outback.

International titles experience success

Australians still have an interest in international titles, with Libraries ACT (the latest library to sign up to Spydus) revealing its most requested book was Irish author Sally Rooney's, Conversations with Friends, a critically acclaimed novel that follows the journey of two college students in Dublin. In second place is Amor Towle's A Gentleman in Moscow, the story of Count Alexander Rostov who was confined to his luxury hotel in Russia; also set to become a TV series starring and produced by Kenneth Branagh.

Sue McKerracher, Chief Executive Officer, ALIA, says, "With the increased popularity of streaming services the consumption of television and films has sky-rocketed and it's great to see Australian stories appreciated and reflected in popular culture. These results speak to the strength of local authors whose novels are achieving success on the global stage. People often come into libraries requesting the novels that their favourite new TV show is based on. We saw it happen with Big Little Lies last year, which ranked number five in the 2018 Civica Libraries Index."

Simon Jones, Managing Director of Libraries and Education Solutions at Civica, says libraries will continue to flourish in the digital age.

"This year's Civica Libraries Index reveals that books are still relevant to many despite the growing popularity of digital streaming services, and in fact popular novels are leading the way for new projects in film and television. To meet dynamic customer expectations as literature and pop culture merge, many of our library customers have transformed into cultural hubs, both physically and digitally, to provide a place for book and movie lovers alike to discover new interests and stories."

The 2019 Civica Libraries Index is compiled using Civica's Spydus - a cloud-based software system developed in Australia that provides more than 2,500 libraries around the world with the latest digital technologies to meet the dynamic needs of today's library members. The rankings are based on the popularity of each title from libraries which use Civica's Spydus across Australia and New Zealand.

Index highlights

Most borrowed

According to the 2019 Civica Libraries Index, Australians still have an appetite for crime and thriller tales, with novels in those genres dominating the most borrowed list, as they did in 2018. Following Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels, The Midnight Line and Night School, in first and second place, came Australian author Tim Winton's survival story The Shepherd's Hut.

The list of the top 20 borrowed books reveals all the female authors are from Australia or New Zealand. The top male authors were from the US and UK.


In the non-fiction category, Australians are prioritising books which provide self-help with chaos, money and/or trauma. For the second year running, Scott Pape's The Barefoot Investor remains the only non-fiction title in the top 20 most borrowed books and is the number one non-fiction title. Scott's popular finance guide was followed by Jordan B. Paterson's 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos and Michael Mosley's The Clever Guts Diet in second and third place respectively.


Stories about Australian figures remain the most popular, with biographies written by Aussies comprising 90 per cent of the top biographies. Jimmy Barnes' Working Class Man took out the top spot, followed by Sarah Krasnostein's The Trauma Cleaner and Anh Do's ever popular 2010 biography, The Happiest Refugee. Shaun Blythell's Diary of a Bookseller was the most popular biography borrowed by New Zealanders.

Children and Young Adult books

Australian children's author Andy Griffiths dominates the top titles borrowed by juniors representing 60 per cent of the top books borrowed with American cartoonist and author Jeff Kinney taking out the other 40 per cent. It seems animals are the key to entice kids to read with all top ten titles in the picture books list featuring animals or creatures as a main character.

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 30 million library book loans across Australia to help determine the country's most popular books. Data was gathered over a 12-month period from between 01 Apr 2018 and 31 Mar 2019. All information on borrowing behaviours is collected anonymously. Civica is Australia's leading provider of library information, collection, and management solutions.

About Civica Group

Civica ( is a market-leading specialist in business-critical software applications, digital solutions and managed 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 3,000 major organisations in 10 countries, providing the software and digital technology and automation behind essential every day services for over 100 million people and businesses.

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.

Summary: The 2019 Civica Libraries Index reveals similarities among the tastes of book lovers and movie buffs, with many of the most borrowed books from libraries across Australia and New Zealand headed to the big screen. The Index reveals seven of the top 20 titles are set to be adapted to films or television series, with stories authored by Australians becoming increasingly popular choices for adaptations, both locally and globally.
Publication Year:2019
Type of Material:Press Release
Date Issued:May 21, 2019
Company: Civica

DocumentID: 24307 views: 160 Created: 2019-05-21 03:03:20 Last Modified: 2023-11-21 21:41:23.