Grammar guide is most borrowed library book in Westminster

10:00 15 January 2012

Librarian Susie Derby with the top three most borrowed books at St John

Librarian Susie Derby with the top three most borrowed books at St John's Wood Library

Richard Twilton

His books have sold millions of copies and been turned into Hollywood films – but Stieg Larsson could not beat a little-known grammar reference text into top spot as Westminster’s most borrowed book.

Figures charting the top 100 books borrowed from the borough’s libraries show The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo topped the fiction chart last year, while the third book in Larsson’s trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest, took third place.

Standing the test of time, a number of classic authors have enjoyed profitable years with six of the seven Harry Potter books inside the top 100 for JK Rowling, while children’s author Jacqueline Wilson had a whopping 17 novels in the chart.

Roald Dahl’s eternally popular novels appear eight times in the top 100 list.

But while the great and the good of the literary world celebrate their success, it is the lesser-known Martin Hewings who takes the ultimate crown as the author who sits atop Westminster libraries’ lending pile.

An honorary research fellow at the University of Birmingham, Mr Hewings has seen his English study and reference book, Advanced Grammar In Use, checked out and renewed 783 times over the past year.

With chapters ranging from “tenses” and “semi-modals” to “pronouns” and “adverbial clauses”, Advanced Grammar In Use may seem complex to many readers.

But the book is, in fact, part of a series to help people learning English as a foreign language.

“I’m surprised and delighted that Advanced Grammar In Use is proving so popular in the borough and it’s great to be heading a list that includes so many well-known writers,” said Mr Hewings.

“Studying grammar will never be as entertaining as reading books by Stieg Larsson and JK Rowling. But it’s a good feeling to think that I’ve written something that might help learners of English understand them better.”

In fact, Westminster’s borrowing list is peppered with titles aimed at non-Brits.

Life In The United Kingdom: A Journey To Citizenship is the second most borrowed book in Westminster, while two other books aimed at those taking the “Life In The UK Test” to qualify for citizenship are also high up on the list.

Director of libraries David Ruse said: “The popularity of English grammar books and the citizenship guide illustrates the diverse and transient nature of Westminster’s population and also the significant role that our libraries play in supporting their integration into the UK – both in terms of language and also culturally.”

The figures paint a promising picture for the borough’s libraries.

There was an overall increase in the number of visits last year to 2.7 million and a 10 per cent rise in the number of children’s books borrowed.

Book title and number of times borrowed:

1 – Advanced Grammar In Use by Martin Hewings, 783

2 – Life In The United Kingdom: A Journey To Citizenship, 780

3 – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, 746

4 – Diary Of A Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, 742

5 – The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson, 729

6 – Cambridge IELTS 7 Examination Papers, 728

7 – English Grammar In Use: A Self-study Reference A by Raymond Murphy, 713

8 – English Grammar In Use: A Self-study Reference B by Brigit Viney, 694

8 – Hetty Feather by Jacqueline Wilson, 694

10 – Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling, 682

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

This feel-good clip is well worth a watch.

Read more

Nasa give us great images every day and now we can hear sounds from space on SoundCloud.

Read more

The Tories better hope the Westminster Dog of the Year awards don’t foreshadow events next year…

Read more

Promotions

AGA Living Subscription

Every issue of AGA Living magazine is packed full of celebrity AGA owner interviews, interior and design features, ideas to inspire your culinary imagination, mouth-watering recipes and inspirational shopping ideas.

Dojo gives you hand picked recommendations for events, places and activities in London

Tired of always hearing about some amazing event in London after its gone, missing out on the best activities? That’s where Dojo comes in.

This feel-good clip is well worth a watch.

The Tories better hope the Westminster Dog of the Year awards don’t foreshadow events next year…

Can you confront your fears and hold out the 90 minutes of Spider House?

Johnny Depp’s interpretation of The Big Bad Wolf for the much-hyped musical Into The Woods has been unveiled. Entertainment Weekly has four special covers previewing the fairytale characters from Rob Marshall’s big-screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Broadway show. Get a sneak peek at winter’s biggest films—including a must-see preview of #IntoTheWoods: […]

TOP Stories

37 minutes ago
Baroness Sharples has previous form for lashing out at cyclists [Photograph by Ian Nicholson for PA]

A 91-year-old peer has admitted taking a swipe at a cyclist who didn’t stop at a pedestrian crossing outside of Parliament.

56 minutes ago
Marcus Campbell (Pic: @Mr Exposed)

Police blocked more than a hundred angry protestors outside Croydon University Hospital last night who were demonstrating over the care of critically ill 22-year-old Marcus Campbell.

12:33
Forensic experts examine the car for evidence

A man found dead in a car in the car park of Tesco in Gallows Corner, Romford, has been named as Behar Brace.

London Bloggers

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
The cast, including Josie Lawrence and Mike Myers

Simon Collins catches up with the improv impresarios, who despite being the world’s longest-running comedy show with the same cast, have lost none of the razor-sharp wit:

Monday, September 1, 2014
Do you really need an explanation for that?! (Pic by Serena Marinelli)

If you’ve ever seen an Italian movie, you would probably know how important body language is in the culture.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Don't waste any of your harvest

If you are now inundated with ripe tomatoes, juicy green beans, berries and herbs, don’t leave them to go stringy or mouldy because the freezer can go a long way to making your crops last well into winter.