“Sorcerer’s Stone” one of the most checked-out books at the NYPL

Jan 21, 2020

Posted by: Amanda Kirk

Books, Fun, Harry Potter and the Philosophers / Sorcerers Stone, Honors/Awards, News

In celebration of its 125th anniversary, the New York Public Library has released the list of its top 10 most checked-out books of all time.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone comes in at #9 with 231,022 check-outs since its U.S. publication in 1998.  Given the worldwide record-breaking popularity of the Harry Potter series, prima facie, this might not seem surprising.  In fact, you might wonder why it isn’t higher on the list.  But consider this:  It’s the most recently published book on the top 10 list by a very wide margin, so it’s had far fewer years in which to be checked-out.  Here’s the rest of the list:

  1. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (1962) 485,583 check-outs
  2. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss (1957) 469,650 check-outs
  3. 1984 by George Orwell (1949) 441,770 check-outs
  4. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (1963) 436,016 chec-outs
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960) 422,912 check-outs
  6. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (1952) 337,948 check-outs
  7. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1953) 316,404 check-outs
  8. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (1936) 284,524 check-outs
  9. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (1998) 231,022 check-outs
  10. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (1969) 189,550 check-outs

Which ones have you read?  What are your most checked-out books from the library?  Which Hogwarts house has a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People lying around its Common Room?  Tell us in the comments.  I must confess, I’d never head of The Snowy Day until reading this list.  I was an avid reader and patron of my local library as a child, but somehow missed it.

The Harry Potter series as a whole was #1 on the most challenged books list compiled by the American Library Association from 2000-2009.  As Hermione noted in Goblet of Fire, banning something is the best way to guarantee that everyone will want to read it.

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.