Surrey’s love of erotic fiction and a boom in tablet computer sales have been credited for an 22% surge in e-book loans from libraries.
The number of e-books borrowed from the Surrey County Council’s libraries swelled from 16,231 in 2011 to 19,847 the following year – an increase of 3,616.
This follows a growing trend in library use which now sees almost half of all visits to the county’s libraries carried out online. January was the busiest month in Surrey’s ebook history with 2,469 loans.
The most popular e-book in 2012 was romance novel At the Argentinean Billionaire’s Bidding by India Grey, followed by Bedded by the Greek Billionaire by Kate Walker, in second and Beauty and the Billionaire by Barbara Dunlop in third.
Surrey’s love of romance fiction is well known after it was revealed last year that the county is a UK library lending hotspots for the raunchy Fifty Shades of Grey novel and its two sequels.
Helyn Clack, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “Erotic fiction seems to be going through a revival at the moment which is fuelling e-book borrowing. Romance novels are a guilty pleasure for some and they like the fact you can’t judge an e-reader by its cover. And I think the popularity of e-readers and tablet computers as Christmas presents also helped make January our busiest e-book month.”
She added: “The way people borrow and read books is undergoing a digital revolution, sweeping both the library world and the publishing industry. In Surrey we’ve been anticipating these changing trends to ensure people can experience the joy of a good read from the library, not matter how they choose to borrow a book.”
Surrey County Council is currently at the forefront of negotiations with publishers to increase the range of e-books available through libraries, as it looks to further improve its digital offering.”
As well as embracing new technology, Surrey County Council is also focused on investing in traditional libraries. In 2011, the new Dorking library was opened in the heart of the shopping centre and last year Woking library underwent a complete refurbishment with thousands of new books.
To borrow ebooks, join the library or simply find out more about what is on offer, go to http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/libraries or visit your local branch.
Top 10 most popular e-books borrowed from Surrey County Council libraries in 2012
1. At the Argentinean Billionaire’s Bidding by India Grey
2. Bedded by the Greek Billionaire by Kate Walker
3. Beauty and the Billionaire by Barbara Dunlop
4. Hajar’s Hidden Legacy by Maisey Yates
5. Beyond His Control by Stephanie Tyler
6. The Secret Sinclair by Cathy Williams
7. All or Nothing by Debbi Rawlins
8. Say It with Diamonds by Lucy King
9. The Talk of Hollywood by Carole Mortimer
10. The Lady Confesses by Carole Mortimer
Media requiring more information can contact Surrey County Council senior media relations officer James Oxley on 0208 541 7259 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.