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Top Lockdown eBooks

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
Published October 11th 2020
The Beekeeper of Aleppo is most 'borrowed' eBook
Staffordshire County Council's library service has revealed its most popular eBooks during lockdown following a surge in online borrowing. During the lockdown period between March and September, more than 50,000 eBooks were loaned and the number of people using the eBooks service through BorrowBox increased by a remarkable 450 per cent to 6,350. At the same time, more than 1,000 new people applied online to become library members, while the number of people who now follow the library service's Facebook page has grown to more than 8,400, Topping Staffordshire's eBooks list is the number 1 international bestseller, The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri, with more than 380 issues during lockdown. The 2019 novel by Christy Lefteri deals with the flight of refugees from Aleppo in Syria to Europe during the Syrian Civil War. Second place went to historical detective novel, Unexpected Return of Josephine Fox by Claire Gradidge, while the thriller Know Me Now, by C J Carver, took third place.

The Beekeeper of Aleppo
The Beekeeper of Aleppo was the most popular eBook. By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use,https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62483180


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 eBooks, 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 eBooks 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." She added: "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 eBook 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."

Victoria Wilson, Staffordshire County Council
Victoria Wilson from Staffordshire County Council


Existing library members who haven't signed up online can download the BorrowBox app for both eBooks and eAudio, or RB Digital or ULibrary app for e-audio at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/eLibrary and use their membership number and PIN to access what's on offer. New library service members can register online by going to www.staffordshire.gov.uk search 'join library' and follow the instructions.

The top ten most borrowed eBooks from 22 March to 1 September were:

The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri
Unexpected Return of Josephine Fox by Claire Gradidge
Know me now, by C J Carver,
Unsuitable Match by Joanna Trollope
Letter to My Younger Self by Jane Graham
Last Bus to Woodstock by Colin Dexter
My Name Is Why by Lemn Sissay
The prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
The muse, by Jessie Burton
This Green and Pleasant Land by Ayisha Malik

For more information on local library services in the county, visit www.staffordshire.gov.uk/libraries
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