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The most popular digital books during the coronavirus lockdown in Staffordshire have been revealed.

The county’s library service said The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri had been the most borrowed e-book.

It was followed by detective novel Unexpected Return of Josephine Fox by Claire Gradidge and thriller Know Me Now, by C J Carver on the list.

The top ten was revealed as figures showed more than 50,000 e-books were loaned in Staffordshire from the start of lockdown until 1st September – with the number of users of the digital service jumping by 450%.

Cllr Victoria Wilson

Cllr Victoria Wilson, cabinet member responsible for libraries at Staffordshire County Council, said:

“During lockdown and the restrictions in place we’ve seen a huge spike in the number of downloads of our e-books, e-magazines and e-audio books.

“They’ve become incredibly popular with record numbers downloaded and we continue to invest in the service and in new titles too, to keep up with demand. 

“The expansion of our e-books service has also been great for reading groups across the county who have been able to continue their meetings too, all be it in a virtual world.”

Cllr Vitoria Wilson, Staffordshire County Council

The top ten most borrowed e-books from 22 March 2020 to 1 September 2020 were:

  1. The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri
  2. Unexpected Return of Josephine Fox by Claire Gradidge
  3. Know me now, by C J Carver,
  4. Unsuitable Match by Joanna Trollope
  5. Letter to My Younger Self by Jane Graham
  6. Last Bus to Woodstock by Colin Dexter
  7. My Name Is Why by Lemn Sissay
  8. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
  9. The Muse by Jessie Burton
  10. This Green and Pleasant Land by Ayisha Malik

“It’s a really good mix of titles in the top ten and slightly different to the usual list of physical copies we see, but there’s some great reads in there. 

“So, whether it’s a bestseller, crime thriller, romance, comedy or an autobiography you’re after, our e-book service will have something that fits the bill. 

“And for children and teenagers there’s all the usual favourites available too for fun and home learning.”

Cllr Victoria Wilson, Staffordshire County Council

More details about the e-book service are available at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/eLibrary.

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