Tuesday, June 17, 2008
There's a group that formed from the Early Reviewers discussion board on Library Thing called Tuesday Thingers. It is hosted by Marie, a.k.a. The Boston Bibliophile. Each Tuesday Marie posts a question that everyone then blogs about. I'm joining a few weeks after they formed but I'm sure they won't mind (fingers crossed).
Today's Question: What's the most popular book in your library? Have you read it? What did you think? How many users have it? What's the most popular book you don't have? How does a book's popularity figure into your decisions about what to read?
My library lists only the books that I've read in the last two years, a few series that I added all the books, our book club books, and a few 'to be read' books. The most popular book in my library is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. There are 32,526 other Library Thing members who have this book in their library. This book or at least this series being the most popular appears to be common among alot of the other Tuesday Thingers. It only makes sense as this is one of the most popular books in the last years - it appeals to adults and kids alike. I've read it, but not in the last two years. I loved the series and this book was the start. My kids also have read this first book and are also big Harry fans.
The next most popular books in my library are the other Harry Potter books. The most popular book I've actually read in the last two years (that's not Harry Potter) is A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. It is in the library of 5,549 members. I read this book in January and gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars. I learned some things about the culture in Afghanistan as well as reading a good story. I don't think it was as good as his other book, The Kite Runner, but that may have been expectations and not the book itself. Interestingly, The Kite Runner was published in 2003 and is in 14,563 member libraries. I wonder if in 4 more years whether the number of libraries for A Thousand Splendid Suns will reach that high.
The most popular book that I haven't read based on the Zeitgeist is The Hobbit with 21,347 members. Not sure why I've never read this book. I was going to say that fantasy is not usually my cup of tea but then realized that doesn't mesh with loving the Harry Potter series. Maybe I'll need to rethink reading this book.
A book's popularity does play a role in what I read. It's mostly based off of good reivews - "Oh you need to read this book" - rather than the fact that everyone is buying it. If I am shopping the library or the bookstore, I tend to notice the books that they have more of, but I'm just as likely to pick up a book because of it's color.
Just for fun, I looked at the books in my library that have the least amount of members. Rated 4 stars, The Bone Weaver by Victoria Zackheim is only in 5 members libraries. I read this book with my book club in 2003. Sadly that is too much time for me to remember the book, even after looking at the reviews on Amazon. It also makes me wonder how I rated it when I added it to my library. Hmmm...maybe my memory was better last year than it is this year? I will follow up with my book club buddies and see what they remember about this book.