“Sorcerer’s Stone” Makes New York Public Library’s Top Ten Checked-Out Books List

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone has been named one of the New York Public Library system’s top ten checked-out books in history.

To celebrate the 125-year anniversary of the public library system, librarians and analysts wanted to showcase New York City’s most-loved books. The list was compiled using data from the library system, best-seller lists, and award archives.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone came in at number nine on the list, having been checked out 231,022 times in the library system’s history. And as head of book buying for New York Public Library Andrew Medlar has stated, this is quite a feat for a book that was published just over 20 years ago:

To me, it’s amazing that ‘Harry Potter’ made it onto this top 10 list.

While Sorcerer’s Stone may be a surprise entry in a list that gives an advantage to books that have been in publication for a long time, what is less of a surprise is the domination of children’s literature.

Books written for children and young readers make up six of the top ten places, with the title of number one checked-out book going to picture book The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. Published in 1962, The Snowy Day has been checked out by readers in New York City a staggering 485,583 times in the library system’s history.

Here are the ten most-checked-out books in the 125 years of the New York Public Library system:

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

This top ten list is just the start of the New York Public Library system’s 125th-anniversary celebrations.

In addition to a number of public events and commemorative merchandise, the system’s flagship location, the Mid-Manhattan Library, will be reopened in May after an extensive renovation. Check out what events are happening and stay up-to-date with all the celebrations on the New York Public Library website.

Lucy O'Shea

I was given a copy of Philosopher's Stone in 2001, and instantly, I was hooked. Since then, my passion for Potter has been equaled only by my passion for fair access to education (and watching motorsport). A spell I wish could exist in the Muggle world is the summoning charm because this Hufflepuff is not a "particularly good finder"!