There are millions of books to choose from at the New York Public Library, but in the system’s 125-year history, a simple illustrated children’s story has stood the test of time and transcended generations as the most-borrowed book.
In honor of the library’s 125th anniversary, a team of experts “carefully evaluated a series of key factors to determine the most borrowed books, including historic checkout and circulation data, overall trends, current events, popularity, length of time in print, and presence in the Library catalog,” according to the library.
Since the storied building on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan first filled its shelves and opened its doors in 1895, millions of books have been checked out by patrons of all ages throughout the city.
Here are the top 10 most checked out books:
1. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats — 485,583 checkouts
2. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss by 469,650 checkouts
3. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell — 441,770 checkouts
4. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak — 436,016 checkouts
5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee — 422,912 checkouts
6. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White — 337,948 checkouts
7. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury — 316,404 checkouts
8. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie — 284,524 checkouts
9. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling — 231,022 checkouts
10. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle — 189,550 checkouts