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Staffordshire Libraries – Top ten lockdown e-books revealed

Written by on 2 October 2020

Staffordshire County Council’s library service has revealed its most popular e-books during lockdown.


Topping the list is the number 1 international bestseller, The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri, with over 380 issues.


Historical detective novel, Unexpected Return of Josephine Fox by Claire Gradidge and thriller Know Me Now, by C J Carver took second and third place respectively.


Since lockdown until 1 September, over 50,000 e-books have been loaned and the number of people using the e-books service through BorrowBox has increased to 6,350 a 450% increase.


Over the same period, eBook downloads have increased by over 100%, eAudio by 79% with 27,203 eMagazines and 145 eComics currently on loan.  Over 1,000 new people applied online to become library members and over 8,400 people now follow the libraries Facebook page.


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 E-books, 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 e-books 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.”


Victoria 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 auto-biography you’re after, our e-book 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.”


Existing library members who haven’t signed up online can download the BorrowBox app for both e-books and e-audio,  or RB Digital or ULibrary app for e-audio at and use their membership number and PIN to access what’s on offer.


New library service members can register online by going to search ‘join library’ and follow the instructions.


The top ten most borrowed e-books from 22 March 2020 to 1 September 2020 are:


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


Some library customer comments received include:


“The  choice of books is amazing, the whole programme is so easy to use and  I am so pleased to have found  borrowbox.”


“Fantastic app, so easy to view and choose the ebooks or audiobooks. Highly recommended!!”


“Perfect System. Easy to download. Access to a great many authors at this time. I usually go to my local library once a fortnight, obviously during lockdown I couldn’t go so a great source of reading material.”


For more information on what your local library has to offer, please visit or find them on Facebook.