The 10 most popular books in the New York Public Library during the coronavirus

The main entrance to the New York Public Library on March 22, 2020 in New York City. John Lamparski/Getty Images

During the pandemic, many people are finding time they didn’t have before to hide away with episodes of shows they’ve never seen or books they’ve never read. Sure, some of us are so plagued with anxiety and existential fear that they’ve found reading books to be completely impossible, but nonetheless, literature consumption isn’t completely out of fashion just yet. Wednesday, the New York Public Library published a list of e-books that have been viewed most frequently since social distancing began, as it is currently impossible to visit the premises in person.

SEE ALSO: World Book Day 2020 highlights how our reading habits have changed

The list, which we’ve included below, reveals that inspirational memoir and transportive fiction are wildly popular during times of collective stress, perhaps because people seek out examples of how successful people have overcome situations of adversity and conflict in their own lives. In addition, therapeutic books and children’s books are also borrowed in large numbers. An interesting entry on the list is the famous literary novel by Sally Rooney normal people, which tells the story of two estranged young Irishmen who grow up together and fall in love. The TV adaptation of the book just debuted on Hulu, which would explain the increase in interested readership.

  1. To becomeby Michelle Obama
  2. Educated: a memoirby Tara Westover
  3. The Dutch house: A novel, by Ann Patchett
  4. Deacon King Kong: A Novelby James McBride
  5. The Testaments: Sequel to The Handmaid’s Taleby Margaret Atwood
  6. Maybe you should talk to someone: a therapist, HIS therapist and our lives revealedby Lori Gottlieb
  7. Normal People: A Novelby Sally Rooney
  8. Harry Potter at the Sorcerer’s Stoneby JK Rowling
  9. the The water Dancer: a novelby Ta-Nehisi Coates
  10. The Handmaid’s Taleby Margaret Atwood

“For 125 years, the New York Public Library has brought New Yorkers together in reading and learning, providing books, courses, programs and materials to strengthen our communities,” said Anthony Marx, president of the New York Public Library, said in a press release. “I’m proud that we continue to connect New Yorkers, even when we can’t be together. Reading brings so much: comfort, an escape, a distraction. I hope this relatively modest pleasure helps our communities through a very difficult time.

In the future, as social distancing continues, it would also be interesting to find out what kinds of poetry people read while in isolation. When anxiety refuses to dissipate, tiny fragments of picture verse can be just as restorative as longer books.

The most popular books New Yorkers are reading while social distancing

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