APL’s Most Popular Titles of 2018 (Summary)

Most popular photo in 2018 on the APL Instagram.

APL’s Most Popular Titles of 2018 (Summary)

Blog post by Cesar
Wednesday, December 12, 2018

A library is a lens through which you see your community and, by extension, your world. So it stands to reason that the Austin Public Library’s most popular titles of 2018 have something to show us about the communal moods of three-fifths of Austin’s population (our registered cardholders average 600,000 people).

This year we were in the mood for fiction about race (The Hate U Give), class (Little Fires Everywhere) and refugeeism (Exit West), while in nonfiction we bore witness to social, political and economic conflicts tied to those issues (see Fire and Fury, Hillbilly Elegy and Step Right Up).

This year people visited the library 3.6 million times and cardholders checked out physical items from the library’s collection 5.3 million times. Virtual items were checked out 1.5 million times. The library partnered with the Austin Independent School District to make full-access library cards available to all district students. It was Austin’s first, full calendar year enjoying the new Central Library, which earned multiple architectural honors and which TIME Magazine named one of the World’s Greatest Places and Architectural Digest one of the World’s Most Futuristic Libraries.

Look Back: APL’s Most Popular Titles of 2017

Most Popular Books 2018

Adult Fiction

  1. Exit West - Mohsin Hamid
  2. Little Fires Everywhere - Celeste Ng
  3. A Gentleman in Moscow - Amor Towles
  4. Before We Were Yours - Lisa Wingate
  5. The Midnight Line - Lee Child

Adult Nonfiction

  1. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House - Michael Wolff
  2. Hillbilly Elegy - J.D. Vance
  3. Killers of the Flower Moon - David Grann
  4. Educated: A Memoir - Tara Westover
  5. The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up - Marie Kondo

Juvenile/Children's Fiction

  1. I Am Going! - Mo Willems
  2. The Thank You Book - Mo Willems
  3. Waiting is Not Easy! - Mo Willems
  4. My New Friend is So Fun! - Mo Willems
  5. I Will Take a Nap! - Mo Willems

Juvenile/Children's Nonfiction

  1. Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing - Kay Haring
  2. Grand Canyon - Jason Chin
  3. Sergeant Reckless - Patricia McCormick
  4. Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix - Jacqueline B. Martin
  5. Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World About Kindness - Donna J. Bowman

Teen/YA Fiction

  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling
  2. The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas
  3. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling
  4. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - J.K. Rowling
  5. Scythe - Neal Shusterman

Teen/YA Nonfiction

  1. I Am Malala - Malala Yousafzai
  2. The Boys Who Challenged Hitler - Phillip M. Hoose
  3. The Family Romanov - Candace Fleming
  4. Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo - Chris McDonnell
  5. I Am Pusheen the Cat - Claire Belton


Most Popular Multimedia 2018


  1. Moana
  2. The Boss Baby
  3. Spider-man: Homecoming
  4. Inside Out
  5. Sing


  1. Coco
  2. Ferdinand
  3. The Boss Baby
  4. The Lego Batman Movie
  5. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Music CDs

  1. Hamilton: Original Broadway Cast Recording
  2. Reputation - Taylor Swift
  3. Now That's What I Call Music: 65
  4. Evolve - Imagine Dragons
  5. Damn - Kendrick Lamar

Virtual Library

Of the 3 eBook and eAudiobook collections available to APL cardholders, the most popular is OverDrive. In 2018 the most popular OverDrive eBook was The Great Alone: A Novel by Kristin Hannah. The most popular OverDrive eAudiobook was The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish.