Top 125 most-borrowed books of all time in Brooklyn


 By Carole Howard  | PREVIEW Columnist, and the library staff

In celebration of its 125th anniversary, the Brooklyn Public Library has just released its list of most-borrowed books of all time.

The sprawling list includes dozens of picture books and plenty of classics including F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” and George Orwell’s “1984” as well as more modern hits like “Game of Thrones” by George R. R. Martin, which inspired the hit TV series, and “Twilight” by Stephenie Meyer, the vampire-themed fantasy romance novel. 

Here are Brooklyn’s top 10 most-borrowed books. The full list is available at

1. “Where the Wild Things” Are by Maurice Sendak.

2. “The Snow Day” by Ezra Jack Keats.

3. “The Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Seuss.

4. “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens.

5. “Are You My Mother?” by P.D. Eastman.

6. “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte.

7. “Naruto: Volume 1” by Masashi Kishimoto.

8. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain.

9. “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee.

10. “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott.

Flu season protocols

The curbside service that we began in COVID times continues — and it’s a healthful option as we head into the cold and flu season. To save your energy and lessen germ exposure to other patrons, we recommend you use our curbside service — or add a name to your account authorizing that person to pick up items for you while you recuperate. Library hours:

• Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, your library is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

• Tuesdays and Thursdays, your library is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

• Saturdays, your library is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

New format for
activities calendar

To be sure you don’t miss any of the free library activities available to you and your family, we encourage you to pick up a copy of the events calendar each month. Its new streamlined format combines all the activities and events for children, teens and adults on one handy, two-sided page.

All-ages DIY
holiday wreaths

Next Tuesday, Dec. 6, from 1 to 3 p.m., join us to make your own holiday wreath with holiday greens — all for free. Bring your gardening gloves; we’ll supply all other materials.

Online author
talks continue

There are three more events this month in our free online virtual series featuring New York Times bestselling authors and thought leaders giving live, professionally moderated book discussions you can view on your computer, tablet or smartphone with Internet access. You also have an opportunity to ask questions. 

Next Tuesday, Dec. 6, at 5 p.m. will feature Geraldine Brooks, bestselling author of “Horse.” 

Saturday, Dec. 10, at noon we’ll interact with Fredrik Blackman, author of “The Winners,” the third installment of the Beartown series. 

Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 10 a.m. will showcase Nicole Eustace, author of “A Story of Murder and Indigenous Justice in Early America.” 

Go to to learn more.

Your library has a year-long subscription through June 30, 2023. At that time we will evaluate the popularity of the series in order to decide whether or not to renew our subscription. If you would like to provide feedback to Meg or Judy, they would welcome your comments. Contact or

Gaming tomorrow

Enjoy free all-ages video gaming on the Xbox 360 Kinect tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 2, from 3 to 4 p.m.

Makerspace on Saturday

Kids, tweens and teens are invited to a free Makerspace session on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 11 a.m. to noon when we’ll provide the materials so you can build, design and create.

Dungeons and Dragons 

Next Tuesday, Dec. 6, from 3:45 to 5:30 p.m., join our Dungeons and Dragons game free for those in the fourth through 12th grades. Registration is required. Contact the library to sign up.

Homework help
and tutoring

Free homework assistance and elementary tutoring are available for those in kindergarten through fourth grade on Wednesdays from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. There is a registration packet for parents and guardians to fill out to enroll your child that you can get by emailing the library or coming in. 

This program has been a big hit because it helps build essential skills in core subjects. You still can register your child, but you may be put on a wait list. 

PALS/GED adult education 

Mark is available for his free PALS sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 to 8 p.m. to help with high school equivalency, GED, college prep, financial aid, tutoring and more. No registration is required. 

Tech Time 

Free in-person slots are available from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and 2 to 4 p.m. Thursdays. Judy will help you with basic questions relating to computers, smartphones and tablets and also provide assistance in accessing any of the library’s online resources. You do not need an appointment for these drop-in sessions. 

Writing challenge 

A new all-ages writing challenge was posted Nov. 26 on the library’s Facebook page. We hope you will challenge your creativity by participating in this free activity.

Family storytimes

Wednesdays from 10 to 11 a.m., join us for free in-person children’s gatherings. Next Wednesday, Dec. 7, is free playtime. We have plenty of fun toys for you to enjoy. 

ESL classes

Free in-person evening classes take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with 4 to 5 p.m. reserved for beginners and 5 to 7 p.m. for both intermediate and advanced students. Please help us spread the word about these classes to others in our community who would be interested, and contact us by phone or email if you have any questions.

Downloadable books 

CloudLibrary has a wide variety of downloadable e-books and audiobooks for all ages, and accessing this free digital collection has never been easier. You just need to download the cloudLibrary app, answer a few simple questions, select AspenCat Union Catalog for the name of your library, then enter your library card number and four-digit PIN. You are now ready to browse, borrow and read e-books and audiobooks using cloudLibrary. Library staff are happy to help you set up your device if you need assistance.

New Christmas books

“The Christmas Spirit” by Debbie Macomber showcases a pastor and a bartender who switch jobs for the holidays. “Home Sweet Christmas” by Susan Mallery is book two in the Wishing Tree series. “Holidays in Virgin River” by Robyn Carr offers a story and recipes inspired by the characters in this Netflix series. “Falling Stars” by Fern Michaels features a ski instructor who is hired to train a famous actor to ski one of Colorado’s most treacherous runs. 


“Dirtbag, Massachusetts” by Isaac Fitzgerald is a confessional memoir written in essays. “An American Martyr in Persia” by Reza Aslan is a biography of Howard Baskerville, a 22-year-old Christian missionary from South Dakota killed in 1909. “Half American” by Matthew F. Delmont is the story of more than 1 million African Americans who fought in World War II. “The Book of Boundaries” by Melissa Urban is a practical guide to establishing boundaries to protect your energy, time and health. “The Grandest Stage” by New York Times baseball columnist Tyler Kepner is a history of the World Series. “Waxing On” by Ralph Macchio celebrates the legacy of “The Karate Kid” in cinema, pop culture and the actor’s life. 

 Large print

“Killing the Legends” by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard explores the lives and deaths of Elvis, John Lennon and Mohammad Ali. “The Winners” by Fredrik Backman focuses on tensions between two towns that turn to violence. “Forever Texas” by William W. and J.A. Johnstone is a western. “The Maze” by Nelson DeMille is a Detective John Corey mystery. “The Guns of C.C. Ellis” by Ralph Cotton is book one of the Long Riders western series. 

Books on CD

“The Ink Black Heart” by Robert Galbraith, a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling, is an online mystery. “Livid” by Patricia Cornwall is a Kay Scarpetta medical examiner mystery. “Triple Cross” by James Patterson is an Alex Cross thriller. “Lost in Time” by A.G. Riddle is a time travel thriller features a young woman whose father is still alive 202 million years later. “The Passenger” by Cormac McCarthy tells of two siblings contending with enigmas and their own demons. 


“Facing Suicide” is a PBS documentary that investigates this urgent health care challenge and reviews the new research to curb the crisis. 

Mysteries and thrillers

“Anywhere You Run” by Wanda M. Morris focuses on two Black sisters on the run after murders in Jim Crow Mississippi. “Livid” by Patricia Cornwell is a Kay Scarpetta forensic pathology mystery. “The Bequest” by Joanna Margaret is a gothic novel about a chain of betrayal. “The Poison Machine” by Robert J. Lloyd, sequel to “The Bloodless Boy,” is a historical thriller set in 1600s London. 

Other novels

“The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven” by Nathaniel Ian Miller follows a man living a solitary life in the Arctic Circle who meets a group of unlikely visitors. “Happily Ever Amish” by Shelley Shepard Gray is the first book in a new series about a small Amish community in Ohio. “The Revivalists” by Christopher M. Hood is set in the aftermath of a pandemic that wiped out two-thirds of the planet’s population. “When We Were Sisters” by Fatimah Asghar features three orphans coming of age as Muslims in America. “Ancestry” by Simon Mawer looks back at the varied lives of ancestors who lived 200 years ago. “The Passenger” by Cormac McCarthy tells of two siblings contending with enigmas and their own demons. “Daughters of the New Year” by E.M. Tran features the extraordinary mother and three sisters within a Vietnamese immigrant family. 


We are grateful to Rosalea Connor and our anonymous donors for their materials donations. 

When we are open, material donations are accepted for the Friends of the Library at the front desk — not through the outside returns slot at the library or the drop box at City Market, please. 

The Friends take fiction published in 2012 or newer and nonfiction that is 2017 or newer. Limited workroom space means we can only accept one or two small boxes at a time. 

Quotable quote

“Were it offered to my choice, I should have no objections to a repetition of the same life from its beginning, only asking the advantages authors have in the second edition to correct some faults from the first.” — Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), one of the leading figures of early American history. 


For more information on library books, services and programs — and to reserve books, e-books, books on CD and DVDs from the comfort of your home — please visit our website at