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

British nurse William Pooley is to deliver Channel 4′s Alternative Christmas Message.

Read more

Emmerdale’s Barton boys are set to meet their estranged mum.

Read more

Janey Godley was caught up in the major road incident at George Square today, and gave her testimony of what she saw.

Read more

Promoted content

We've got a great selection of Secret Santa presents and stocking fillers for under a tenner...  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Office Secret Santa: it’s a Christmas ritual that everyone dreads, but no-one wants to seem like a Scrooge by saying no. Never fear, London24 is here to make buying gifts for Dave in Accounts simple and stress-free, with a selection of presents for under a tenner

Money saving Christmas gifts to add to your shopping list!

It’s nearly time to go on the hunt for Christmas presents, stuck on what to get for your nearest and dearest? We’ve picked out a selection of great deals to get you started and to help you save some pennies!

Janey Godley was caught up in the major road incident at George Square today, and gave her testimony of what she saw.

The former QPR and Burnley player was reportedly involved in a serious incident involving a lorry in North Yorkshire.

Ringo Starr, Bette Midler, Steven Tyler and Boy George are among the many musicians paying tribute to the Sheffield singer.

People are paying tribute after the rock and blues legend Joe Cocker has passed away.

TOP Stories

Yesterday, 16:21
Pensioner Geoffrey Lederman ploughed into mother Desreen Brooks at 54mph(Google Street View)

An 85-year-old from Maida Vale who ploughed his car into a mother at 54mph, killing her in front of her husband and toddler has been jailed for 18 months.

Yesterday, 15:01
Jason Oparaocha has been jailed for nine months

A Harlesden man who attacked two city workers when one of them tried to chat up his friend will spend Christmas in jail.

Yesterday, 11:46
Officers would like to speak to this man (Pic credit: Brent Police)

Police have released the image of a man they would like to speak to in connection with a pub fight in Neasden which has left a peacemaker in a coma.

London Bloggers

Yesterday, 12:37
Around 25 per cent of the population self-identity as having no religion yet still enjoy the fun of Christmas (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

It’s Christmas time. We know this by the light-adorned streets, the mobility hazard posed by boxes of Quality Street, Roses and Celebrations in every supermarket’s entrance and, of course, the incessant radio-plays of Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
The main room at the Museum of Comedy (Pic: Steve Ullathorne)

This week I visited the Museum of Comedy located at the corner of Museum Street and Bloomsbury Way in the crypt under St George’s Church.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
Bird Lovegod

I genuinely and honestly have only a slight problem when it comes to buying domain names.