Your Top Picks 2011 – The Good, the Bach, and the Local

The end of the year is nigh! Just in time for Christmas, we’ve put together a list of the most popular items in various categories around the library service, so you can see what you’ve been getting out of the libraries. There’s a few surprises, and a few not very surprises, but we thought it would be interesting to take a look, and so we are!


First up is our most popular non-fiction item of the year, perhaps unsurprisingly, Rose Collis’ update of the local information guide ‘The New Encyclopaedia of Brighton’, which has been issued 187 times. It’s obviously the local interest that’s pushed this to the top of the list, presumably all the local dignitaries trying to check if they’ve been fairly represented! There’s still copies of this available in all the libraries for a discounted price until the 31st December, so it may be a good last minute Christmas present for someone?

In Junior non-fiction, the kids are keeping it Horridly funny with ‘Horrid Henry’s Jolly Joke Book’ by Francesca Simon. Henry and his jokes have been out 135 times this year, no doubt spreading mirth and disgust wherever he goes.

Jumping to fiction, it’s not surprising that our City Reads book this year, ‘The Long Song’ by Andrea Levy, had 616 issues and came top of the list. No wonder everyone’s talking about it. Second place went to local author Peter James’ ‘Dead Like You’, which has been out 498 times

For the kids, the top fiction was ‘How do Dinosaurs go to School?’ by Jane Yolen with 599 issues. I’m hoping that after all that, somebody has finally figured out if its possible to mainstream educate the often marginalised extinct giant lizards. Having not read it, I’m not quite sure where to stand on the issue.


In the DVD department, the pictures probably about what you’d imagine based on the hits of the year. Angelina Jolie’s spy thriller ‘Salt‘ coming in first, followed quickly, with a difference of only a couple of issues, by James Cameron’s giant blue people in ‘Avatar‘ and then ‘The Social Network’ and the making of Facebook.

As far as children’s DVDs go, Disney are right ahead of the game, with ‘Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue’ in first, ‘The Princess and the Frog’ in second and ‘Toy Story 3’ third.

One thing to note, is that ‘Toy Story 3’ is actually the overall winner. Coming third in the children’s section and fifth in the Adult’s section. It’s dual appeal means it was actually issued a total of 214 times!

We now suspect you are all a bunch of big kids. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that).


As for music, there’s perhaps even more unexpectedness. It appears that our readers’ (listeners’?) have been ‘kicking it [incredibly] old school’ as our most popular album of 2011 was by….


Bach’s Complete Cantatas has been issued a grand total of 119 times over the course of the year. The Baroque mathematical genius came across the trick of writing so many pieces of music that something with the same title takes up 17 items on the catalogue, meaning that his issues have been greatly multiplied. Classy trick.

In second place is The Very Best of Free and Bad Company, so even there we’re not living quite in the current moment (though it was a good moment, right?). It’s not until third and fourth place that we end up with anything faintly up to the minute, with The Ting Tings and Adele.

What an eclectic bunch you are!

Alex – Library Officer


About Alex

Digital comms officer
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