I just came across a list of the 20 Australian books that were most often borrowed from Australian libraries in 2004-05. Number one is Mem Fox’s Possum Magic. One of my all-time favourite books – Tim Winton’s Dirt Music – came in at number three. Full list over the fold.

Author Book
1 Fox, Mem Possum magic
2 Marsden, John The other side of dawn
3 Winton, Tim Dirt music
4 Courtenay, Bryce Solomon’s song
5 Marsden, John The Night is for hunting
6 Courtenay, Bryce Matthew Flinders’ cat
7 Marsden, John Burning for revenge
8 Bruce, Jill B Flags and emblems of Australia
9 Courtenay, Bryce The Potato factory: a novel
10 Morrissey, Di Barra Creek
11 Marchetta, Melina Looking for Alibrandi
12 Marsden, John Darkness, be my friend
13 Courtenay, Bryce Four fires
14 Henderson, Sara The strength in us all
15 Courtenay, Bryce Smoky Joe’s cafe
16 Reilly, Matthew Scarecrow
17 Courtenay, Bryce Jessica
18 Marsden, John Tomorrow, when the war began
19 Courtenay, Bryce Tommo & Hawk
20 Marsden, John The third day, the frost
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8 Responses to Outfoxed

  1. Yobbo says:

    The only books I’ve read in there are the Potato Factory trilogy. I don’t read a lot of fiction though.

  2. Robert says:

    Wow, all but one of the Tomorrow series is in there — I wonder how far down the last one is?

  3. Steve Edney says:

    Unsuprisingly being a public library the list is dominated by the child/young adult section. I’m actually suprised there isn’t more in there.

  4. Neil Hickey says:

    I think what this list goes to show is that fans of Bryce Courtenay and John Marsden can’t actually afford to buy their books.

  5. Russell says:

    But Neil, the reason librarians buy thousands of copies of those books is that they’re bestsellers, so their fans *can* afford to buy the books.

    What do you think of that – should libraries mirror the market in that way? Should libraries measure their success by the number of loans they make, and whether they meet the demand for Di Morrissey? Budgets are limited – if you buy multiple copies of Bryce Courtenay you will miss out on other (perhaps higher quality) literature. But if you have lots of copies of Bryce and Di, then of course they will be high on the list above – what else was there to borrow? (And what happened to the CSIRO diet book?)

  6. Patrick says:

    I think I am sad to see the Tommorrow series – when I was at school it wasn’t yet a series, so I never read the later ones, but from what I read it was real dreck as far as sci-fi/futurism goes. I hope for the sake of our children that there are a lot of foreign authors above Marsden!

  7. Robert says:

    Huh? Tomorrow is not sci-fi.

  8. Sacha says:

    Havn’t read any of the books in the list!

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