Fun With Numbers

Hello and welcome to 2013! I’m sure you’re sick of end-of-year wrap-ups and Top Ten Lists, which is why we’re bringing you these top 20 lists of the books most often checked out from Calarco Library in 2012.

First up is the Fiction:

You win this round, Collins!

Size of text corresponds to the number of checkouts. The bigger the title, the more popular it is.

Top 20 Fiction Circulated in 2012

Suzanne Collins blew away the competition, taking the top three spots on the list. Clearly, the odds were in her favor. I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve only read 4.5 of the books on this list.

Now, how about the non-fiction? What topics (for term papers) were popular in 2012?

Where are all the pirates?
Top 20 Non-fiction of 2012

This one I find a little surprising. Based on what I’ve seen so far this year, I expected more books on witchcraft and the Barbary Pirates to make the list.

Also, it’s true that Les Miserables  isn’t actually non-fiction. But it’s shelved in the Stacks, so the reports I ran put it in this group. Think of it as a spy. Or a revolutionary.

And then, just for fun, I decided to run a top 20 list of the books with the most checkouts OF ALL TIME (where “all time” is defined as “since we started keeping electronic records”). What is the most sought after book in our library? Let’s take a look:

STILL No Pirates?!

Top Books of ALL TIME

Now, our top scorer is cheating a little because it has 10 volumes, so each one checked out counts towards its total. So I’m going to give the prize to the runner up, at 32 checkouts – Witchcraft at Salem, by Chadwick Hansen! Congratulations, you win a new book cover and all the bookmarks you can eat.   And really, is anyone surprised?

A few notes on this list: First of all, props to Shakespeare for breaking up the witch party at the top (oh how I wish it had been Macbeth). Second, the first appearance of our popular fiction titles is The Da Vinci Code, tied with Lolita at 25 checkouts. Third, I’m very pleased to see Maus make the list. Fourth, In the Hand of the Goddess proves Tamora Pierce’s enduring popularity. And finally, I count three books from the 9th grade English curriculum.

I’m addicted to this now. I can’t stop!


Top Checkouts by Type

This time I got it right: “Fiction” includes both books from the popular fiction section upstairs as well as the literature section downstairs. And non-fiction includes Maus. Feel free to debate me on that one in the comments.

And, of course:

Double, double, toil and trouble

Top 20 Books by Subject

Note: all graphics in this post were made with, a free web-based resource. Although it’s a little finicky (I did not love how it would sometimes not display my chart for – as far as I could tell – no good reason), it was pretty fun to work with, and I like how the charts look.Give it a try!

Signing off, Kit Gette (who is betting the Barbary Pirates will make the list NEXT time)

One thought on “Fun With Numbers

  1. Errol Saunders

    I’m really happy to see that “City: Urbanism and its End”, “New Haven: from Puritanism to the Age of Terrorism”, and “Mutiny on the Amistad” are making a good showing. New Haven History is holding its own on the non-fiction circulation charts!


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