JoCo Library’s 10 most checked out books of 2021 show we still wanted to get lost in fiction this year

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This year, Johnson Countians leaned toward reading fiction in their spare time.

Gregg Winsor, Johnson County Library’s reader’s advisory specialist, said the list shows Johnson Countians preferred two types of fictional novels this year: historical fiction and “up-lit” novels that focus on community connections and uplifting tones.

Winsor said such feel-good novels tend to tell stories of surprising connections and becoming a better person as a result.

Dudley Court Press describes “up-lit” as books that “center on the power of kindness, the power of friendship, the power of community, the power of redemption and the power to fix what’s broken.”

Meanwhile, the historical fiction that Johnson County readers were drawn to this year may have allowed them to reflect through stories of simpler times or other challenging eras, Winsor said.

“I think the year that everyone’s probably had, I think we need a little bit of respite, of looking back and kind of looking at different things, that’s something that jumped out at me,” Winsor said.

Winsor said JoCo Library doesn’t collect personal data about patrons, but they do log how many times a specific title is checked out.

This helps librarians know what kind of content to look out for and helps guide their recommendations to readers, he said.

Most of the titles on this year’s list of 10 most checked-out books were checked out more than 1,000 times each, Winsor said.

The number of times these books were checked out affirms to library officials that patrons are reading — and are interested in JoCo Library’s content, he said.

Below are the top 1o most-checked-out books of 2021 in order, as provided by Johnson County Library:

About the author

Juliana Garcia
Juliana Garcia

👋 Hi! I’m Juliana Garcia, and I cover Prairie Village and northeast Johnson County for the Johnson County Post.

I grew up in Roeland Park and graduated from Shawnee Mission North before going on to the University of Kansas, where I wrote for the University Daily Kansan and earned my bachelor’s degree in  journalism. Prior to joining the Post in 2019, I worked as an intern at the Kansas City Business Journal.