What Toronto Read, Watched and Listened To in 2017

December 13, 2017 | Wendy B.

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At Toronto Public Library, we really like maps. So when we saw this literary map of the world by Reddit user Backforward24, our first thought was: how would Toronto look decked out in all of its favourite reads?  We calculated the most-borrowed book for nearly two dozen loosely defined neighbourhoods across the city, and came up with the map below:

The Most-Read Books Across Toronto, 2017

The Couple Next Door Animal Farm The Twenty-Three Do Not Say We Have Nothing 
To Kill A Mockingbird 
The Alchemist 
The Girl on the Train 
The Wrong Side of Goodbye The Whistler

Select the book cover to see more information about the book and place a hold.

Books represented in the map, from left to right and top to bottom:

It was an eye-opening exercise: we didn't realize how handily last year's multiple award-winner Do Not Say We Have Nothing would dominate the city; we knew Toronto liked thrillers, but boy does Toronto like thrillers; and we're happy to see so many teens using the library to further their literary educations (as well as to build robots, learn leadership skills, and put on mind-blowing spoken word performances).

We also wanted to know what the most popular reads were for the city as a whole. To find out the top ten most-borrowed items for all of Toronto, read on:

Top Ten Lists:

These are the books practically everyone borrowed this year - the ones we couldn't keep on the shelves. Some of them were new, and some of them showed remarkable staying power. Looked at together, they paint a picture of a city striving to understand the larger world with all its complexity: looking for order, looking for meaning, looking for self-understanding and self-improvement... and looking for thrills.


Most Popular Nonfiction Books

The ten most-borrowed adult non-fiction trade books of 2017, based on circulation, are: 

When Breath Becomes Air  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Hillbilly Elegy: a memoir of a family and culture in crisis  Born a Crime   Thinking Fast and Slow  Spark Joy: an illustrated master class on the art of organizing and tidying up   The Undoing Project: a friendship that changed our minds  The Power of Habit  Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking
Check out the 100 most popular print books


Most Popular Adult Print Fiction Books

The 10 most-borrowed adult English print books of 2017, based on total circulation, are:

 Do Not Say We Have Nothing  The Woman in Cabin 10  The Wrong Side of Goodbye  The Whistler  The Couple Next Door  The Twenty Three  Night School  The Wonder A Great Reckoning  The Nest 

Check out the 100 most popular print books


Most Popular Nonfiction Ebooks

The most-borrowed nonfiction ebooks of 2017, based on downloads, are: 

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up  Born a Crime  Hidden Figures  When Breath Becomes Air  Why Not Me  Between the World and Me  Hillbilly Elegy The Undoing Project  The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo Sapiens


Most Popular Fiction Ebooks

The most-borrowed fiction ebooks of 2017, based on downloads, are:

The Girl On The Train The Woman in Cabin 10 Do Not Say We Have Nothing The Nest The Whistler The Couple Next Door  The Goldfinch The Handmaid's Tale  Fifteen Dogs Harry Potter and the Cursed Child


Most Popular DVDs

The 10 most-borrowed DVDs of 2017, based on circulation, are:

Sully  The Girl on the Train  The Accountant  Inferno  Doctor Strange  Suicide Squad  Bridget Jones's Baby  Star Trek Beyond Bridge of Spies  The Big Short


Most Popular CDs

The most-borrowed CDs of 2017, based on circulation, are:

Adele, 25 Beyonce, Lemonade 2017 Grammy Nominees Leonard Cohen You Want It Darker Bruno Mars XXIVK Magic The Weeknd, Starboy Lady Gaga, Joanne Ed Sheeran, Divide Hamilton cast recording  Prince 4ever


A list of the 500 most popular print fiction books is also available upon request by emailing [email protected]


Media Contact:
Ana-Maria Critchley
Toronto Public Library
[email protected]