News / Toronto

Every ward is an open book: What is your neighbourhood reading?

Toronto Public Library's new map of the most borrowed books for every corner of the city turns the page on residents' reading habits.

A new map from the Toronto Public Library shows the most borrowed books of 2017 by ward.

Toronto Public Library

A new map from the Toronto Public Library shows the most borrowed books of 2017 by ward.

Bookworms in the downtown core favoured the intergenerational saga Do Not Say We Have Nothing, while readers in Scarborough Centre, perhaps inspired by their commutes, were busy reading The Girl on the Train.

The Toronto Public Library, as part of its annual list of the most borrowed books in the city, has developed a new map that breaks it down by neighbourhood.

It was inspired, said library spokesperson Ana-Maria Critchley, by a Reddit user's map of literature around the world.

"It's a very interesting way to look at the city's reading habits," said Critchley. "We are definitely still a city of readers."

Madeleine Thien's Do Not Say We Have Nothing took "a huge swath" of the city, while thrillers by John Grisham and Linwood Barclay were popular in Scarborough Southwest and East. Shari Lapena's The Couple Next Door was the most popular in Etobicoke.

Animal Farm was the most borrowed in York West, while To Kill A Mockingbird took Don Valley East and Scarborough Agincourt — which Critchley attributes to the high-school curriculum.

"You could also attribute it to what's going on in the world and the issues that people are thinking about," she added.

Critchley said the library plans to do it again next year, and although it's early to draw conclusions on what it means about certain neighbourhoods, they'll be able to analyze "trends and patterns" going forward.

"I think it's a fun way for the city, for all of us, to look at what we're reading and start even just thinking to ourselves what conclusions can we draw from this," she said.

"As we build on it in the years to come, we're looking forward to seeing how our reading habits change and also how what's going on in the world may or may not help shape that too."

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