The New York Public Library is an American institution: it’s a bastion of civilized learning; a shining example of the cornices and swags that embellish the very finest Beaux Arts architecture (thanks, Wikipedia!); home of Patience and Fortitude, Ghostbusters’ Eleanor Twitty, and the climactic scene of the crime that is the Sex and the City movie.
With all the NYPL main branch’s infamy as both a physical structure and as an emblem of free knowledge and stuff, it’s easy to forget that it — and its 88 humbler satellites scattered across the city — is an actual, working library. (Fair enough; it’s easy to forget that Borders was once a thing.) And, as it turns out, the NYPL is an actual, working library system that New Yorkers old and young faithfully patronize.
If you’ve ever wondered whether old school library-goers have similar reading habits to us Amazonians/Kindleites — or if they’re another breed entirely, governed by their own erudite, likely morally superior, code of reading conduct — look no further. Here, NYPL has given us access to their 10 most-circulated young adult titles of 2014. Spoiler alert: People who loan books from the library are just like us! Well, mostly. While the almighty Suzanne Collins and Veronica Roth feature heavily on the list, so too does work by Japanese writers less familiar with tablet-friendly bestseller lists.
Read on to get a full picture of what New Yorkers read in 2014: YA edition.
10. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Gayle Forman's 2009 YA favorite retained its favored status at the NYPL last year. Whether you loved it or loathed it, there's no doubt that the movie version, which also came out last year, boosted the book's star power: the tearjerker only hit No. 1 on the bestseller lists with the movie's rise to popularity.
9. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Another book-to-movie favorite! Mockingjay is the last installment of Suzanne Collins' wildly popular dystopian nightmare; and if the movie's crazy success is any indication, the book, too, isn't likely to be disappearing from bestseller lists anytime soon.
8. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Book 2 of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy: because you can't reach the end by skipping the middle. There's your Zen wisdom for the day.
7. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Because where Suzanne Collins is, Veronica Roth probably is, too. Allegiant is the controversial third book in Roth's masterful dystopian trilogy, set in a decimated future Chicago that's governed by five factions called Abnegation; Amity; Candor; Dauntless; and Erudite. All of which sound suspiciously like Patience and Fortitude, the NYPL's very own pet lions (they're statues, though). Might Veronica Roth be an NYPL goer, too?!
6. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
The second installment of Veronica Roth's Divergent series. Because you can't reach the end by skipping the middle. Wait, what?
5. "Bleach" series by Tite Kubo
Here's where things get interesting: manga! Lots of manga! Japanese artist Tite Kubo's "Bleach" series features Ichigo Kurosaki, a 15-year-old hoodrat who inadvertently acquires Grim Reaper-like powers after a run-in with Rukia Kuchiki, an evil spirit-slaying warrior with a cute choppy bob.
4. "Fairy Tail" series by Hiro Mashima
Hiro Mashima's "Fairy Tail" series follows seventeen-year-old wizard Lucy Heartfilia's adventures through magical realms. It's not hard to see how this series gained such popularity here: the world of "Fairy Tail," named after the famous wizards' guild to which Lucy escapes, has all the charm of Neopets, all the dark magic of The Lord of the Rings, and all the hijinks of Harry Potter — plus bigger boobs and chiseled-er torsos.
3. Divergent by Veronica Roth
The first installment of Veronica Roth's Divergent trilogy ranks highly on the library's most popular titles, reaffirming that the YA throne belongs to the most depressing (but baddest-ass!) dystopians.
2. "Naruto" series by Masashi Kishimoto
Masashi Kishimoto's "Naruto" series centers on the titular, aspiring young ninja. If you, too, are unduly impressed by anyone with a modicum of artistic ability, watch this mesmerizing clip of Kishimoto sketching the title character (it gets really good once he whips out the Sharpie).
1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Topping off the list of the NYPL's top 10 most popular YA titles of 2014 is — no surprise here — The Fault in Our Stars by the inimitable John Green. Because there's really no stopping the Nerdfighter General, the master of the well-timed pun and the soul-sucking weep both.
And there you have it: New Yorkers' top 10 favorite YA titles of 2014. Manga fanatics and post-apocalyptic warriors rejoice!
Image: Andrew E. Larson/Flickr