DC Loves Sally Rooney, Fairfax Is Into John Grisham: The Area’s Most-Borrowed Library Books of 2022

Photograph courtesy of Michal Jarmoluk/Pixabay.

Espresso martinis and spherical furniture may be out, but books—whether through audio or good ol’ fashioned print—are always in. Here’s some proof: more than five million items were borrowed, downloaded, or streamed from the DC Public Library in 2022. Meanwhile, out in the ‘burbs, Fairfax County Public Library says it borrowed more than 10 million items, while Prince George’s County Memorial The Library says it saw a 45.6 percent increase in the use of physical materials last year (and a 455 percent increase in ebook/audiobook usage between 2016 and 2022).

Maybe you’re a part of those numbers—good work. If not, 2023 could be your year to catch up on our community’s popular reads. Here are 2022’s most borrowed books at five local library systems: DC, Arlington County, Montgomery County, Fairfax County, and Prince George’s County.

The lists, unsurprisingly, shared similar titles, whose covers often grace the subway and the windows of local bookstores. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens was a top fiction read in DC, Arlington, and Prince George’s County, as was The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner was a top nonfiction read at three local library systems. Other recurring titles included The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles, Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr, ed Malibu Rising and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. But there were some outliers. DC readers were apparently more interested in Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney and Klara And The Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro than folks in other areas, while Prince George’s residents gravitated to titles like It’s Not All Downhill From Here by Terry McMillan and Life After Death by Sister Souljah.

Here are the full lists:

DC Public Library

DC’s Top 10 Fiction Books

  1. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  2. Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney
  3. Dog Man: Fetch 22 by Dev-Pilkey
  4. The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
  5. Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
  6. Klara And The Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
  7. Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  8. Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Big Shot by Jeff Kinney
  9. Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  10. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

DC’s Top 10 Non-Fiction Books

  1. Crying In H Mart: A Memoir by Michelle Zauner
  2. Empire of Pain: The Secret History Of The Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe
  3. The Body Keeps The Score: Brain, Mind, And Body In The Healing Of Trauma by Bessel A. Van der Kolk
  4. How The Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With The History Of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith
  5. Cultish: The Language Of Fanaticism by Amanda Montell
  6. Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results : An Easy & Proven Way To Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear
  7. Caste: The Origins Of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
  8. These Precious Days: Essays by Ann Patchett
  9. The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story by Nikole Hannah-Jones
  10. Atlas Of The Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection And The Language Of Human Experience by Brené Brown

Prince George’s County Memorial Library System

Prince George’s Top 10 Adult Fiction:

  1. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  2. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  3. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  4. The Judge’s List by John Grishman
  5. People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
  6. It’s Not All Downhill From Here by Terry McMillan
  7. Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
  8. Life After Death by Sister Souljah”
  9. The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
  10. While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams

Prince George’s Top 10 Adult Non-Fiction:

  1. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
  2. Algebra the Easy Way by Douglas Downing
  3. Python All-in-One by John C. Shovic
  4. Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
  5. Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall
  6. Call Us What We Carry: Poems by Amanda Gorman
  7. How to Be Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
  8. Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat
  9. Think Again by Adam M. Grant
  10. The 1619 Project edited by Nicole Hannah-Jones

Arlington Public Library

Arlington’s Adult Top Circulated Titles (eBook, eAudiobooks, print):

  1. The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
  2. The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
  3. Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  4. The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
  5. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  6. Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
  7. Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
  8. Book Lovers by Emily Henry
  9. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab
  10. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  11. Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
  12. Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty
  13. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  14. People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
  15. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
  16. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
  17. The Maid by Nita Prose
  18. It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
  19. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  20. The Guest List by Lucy Foley
  21. Atomic Habits by James Clear
  22. A Court of Thorns and Rosess by Sarah J. Maas
  23. Verity by Colleen Hoover
  24. The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller
  25. Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Montgomery County Public Library

Top 10 Adult Fiction titles:

  1. The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
  2. The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
  3. Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
  4. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  5. Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty
  6. Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  7. People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
  8. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
  9. Book Lovers by Emily Henry
  10. The Maid by Nita Prose

Fairfax County Public Library

The top title overall was an eBook:

  1. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Top print titles:

  • Adult Fiction: The Judge’s List by John Grisham
  • Adult Nonfiction: Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

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