Crime books have given Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling a run for its money when it was announced that the sixth novel in the series was the most borrowed book from Scottish libraries in 2006.
Edinburgh-based crime writer Ian Rankin had two books in the top 10, as did James Patterson and Quintin Jardine. The statistics were released by the Public Lending Right (PLR), an organization which distributes funds to authors whose books are borrowed by library users.
Other authors that made the top 10 included Alexander McCall, Patricia Cornwell and Howard Roughan.The PLR figures show a growing trend towards crime fiction and a move away from romantic novels.
Jim Parker, the head of the PLR, said: "The Scottish figures are interesting in that they reflect a trend towards crime fiction and a move away from the romantic stories that once dominated the list. There does seem to be a preoccupation with grisly crime which features very strongly in the Scottish list. Also Scottish writers feature more heavily than locals do in lists from other parts of the UK, and I think that reflects the strength of crime fiction in Scotland at the moment."
Jacqueline Wilson was the most borrowed author from UK libraries last year, the PLR figures revealed.
Titles by the children’s writer were lent almost two million times between July 2005 and June 2006.