The most popular books borrowed from Glasgow Libraries from 2017 to 2022

Ever wondered what books Glaswegians have lent out the most from Glasgow’s public libraries? Have a look at our list of the top 10 books borrowed from Glasgow Libraries over the last 5 years.

Glasgow has always been a very literate city - inspiring many modern authors like Chris McQueer and Douglas Stuart, to Alasdair Grey and Jackie Kay - and this is no more apparent than in the cities public library network.

From the Mitchell Library to the Whiteinch Library, the buildings are still used regularly by Glaswegians to this day. Now in the midst of the cost of living crisis - libraries

In fact, Glasgow loves libraries so much, that they rallied to save their public libraries from closure during the pandemic - the save Glasgow Libraries campaign saw massive success in communities like Maryhill and Whiteinch. The pressure group even gathered support from Glasgow celebrities like Gavin Mitchell, the man who played Boaby the Barman in Still Game.

In honour of Glasgow’s public libraries - we compiled this list of the most popular books borrowed from the network from 2017 through to 2022.


The Caller was the most popular book lent from Glasgow Libraries in 2017.

It’s a bit mad to think that 2017 was only five years ago, with the pandemic it almost feels like a lifetime ago. Through the most borrowed books we can get a better idea of the cultural zeitgeist of Glasgow at the time - clearly 2017 was the year of the thriller.

The most lent out book from Glasgow Libraries in 2017 was Caller by Chris Carter - a psychological thriller that follows a woman named Tanya, who receives a video call from her friend Tanya only to find her bound and gagged in her own living room. If Tanya disconnects from the call or looks away from the camera, the killer will come after her next.

  1. Caller by Chris Carter
  2. I am missing by Tim Weaver
  3. Before the fall by Noah Hawley
  4. I found you by Lisa Jewell
  5. Rather be the devil by Ian Rankin
  6. Stay dead by Jessie Kean
  7. Cast iron by Peter May
  8. Behind her eyes by Sarah Pinborough
  9. Home by Harlan Coben
  10. My sister's bones by Nuala Ellwood


Thirteen was the most popular book lent from Glasgow Libraries in 2018.

Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh was the most popular book of 2018 - following on from the trend of psychological thrillers in 2017, 2018 seems to be similar, with more of a focus on crime. The most popular novel of 2018 combines the obsession with serial killers in recent years with a courtroom drama - but not in the way you would expect.

Thirteen follows a serial killer attending a trial for his murders in court - but the twist is he’s not the one on trial, the killer’s in the jury - and he has to try and work out a way to pin his crimes on the innocent man being accused of multiple murders.

  1. Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh
  2. Rooster Bar by John Grisham
  3. Don't let go by Harlan Coben
  4. Stranger in the house by Shari Lapena
  5. Break by Marian Keyes
  6. No further questions by Gillian McAllister
  7. You were gone by Tim Weaver
  8. I invited her in by Adele Parks
  9. Snap by Belinda Bauer
  10. Noise downstairs by Linwood Barclay


The Silent Patient was the most popular book lent from Glasgow Libraries in 2019.

For the year of 2019, the most popular books lent from Glasgow Libraries were also crime/psychological thrillers.

The Silent Patient was the most lent out book - and follows the story of a psychologist trying to work out the motivations of a woman who, while living a seemingly happy life, shot her husband five times in the face and then went entirely mute when investigators arrived.

  1. Silent patient by Alex Michaelides
  2. One minute later by Susan Lewis
  3. Man with no face by Peter May
  4. Rumour by Lesley Cara
  5. Missing sister by Dinah Jefferies
  6. Twisted by Steve Cavanagh
  7. Fox by Frederick Forsyth
  8. Secretary by Renee Knight
  9. Lies, lies, lies by Adele Parks
  10. Family upstairs by Lisa Jewell


The Long Call was the most popular book lent from Glasgow Libraries in 2020.

Now this is where things start to get interesting, 2020 was the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, which we know all to well shut down all public spaces for an indefinite period - including all the libraries across Glasgow.

Now the Long Call by Ann Cleeves was a new release - and is the standard crime thriller affair of a tattooed body washing up on a beach in Shetland leading a grizzled detective down a rabbit hole of finding dark secrets in the community - but looking a bit further down the list we can see some interesting titles.

Clearly the pandemic shook up our reading tastes - for one Flatshare by Beth O’Leary makes an appearance, a quirky romantic comedy, which is evidently a much lighter read than the heavier intense thrillers that have dominated the lists so far. Also of interest is the Harry Potter books - it’s not unlikely that a lot of people came back to their comfort series in such uncertain times.

It could also be due to a lot more parents introducing their children to reading while off school - which would also explain the Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney, at the bottom of the list.

  1. Long call by Ann Cleeves
  2. Unsolved by James Patterson
  3. No one home by Tim Weaver
  4. Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets by J.K. Rowling
  5. Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri
  6. Secret Service by Tom Bradby
  7. Elevator pitch by Linwood Barclay
  8. Flatshare by Beth O'Leary
  9. Harry Potter and the philosopher's stone by J.K. Rowling
  10. Long haul by Jeff Kinney


The Push was the most popular book lent from Glasgow Libraries in 2021.

Things seemed to even out a bit going into 2021 - with the return of a list dominated mostly by psychological thrillers.

Push by Ashley Audrain was the most lent out book from Glasgow Libraries - this psychological drama verges on the line of horror - as it follows a new mother raising a child that turns into a monster in a novel that echoes the 2003 novel, ‘We need to talk about Kevin’.

  1. Push by Ashley Audrain
  2. 1979 by Val McDermid
  3. Rabbit hole by Mark Billingham
  4. Before the storm by Alex Gray
  5. 21st birthday by James Patterson
  6. Gambling man by David Baldacci
  7. Trust me by T.M. Logan
  8. Heron's cry by Ann Cleeves
  9. Coffin maker's garden by Stuart MacBride
  10. That woman by Helen Monks Takhar