Surrey's love of erotic fiction helps fuel surge in library ebook lending (From Redhill And Reigate Life)
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Surrey's love of erotic fiction helps fuel surge in library ebook lending
1:14pm Tuesday 19th February 2013 in News
Surrey residents' love of erotic fiction and a boom in tablet computer sales have been credited for an 18% surge in e-book loans from libraries.
The number of e-books borrowed from Surrey County Council’s libraries swelled from 16,231 in 2011 to 19,847 last year – an increase of 3,616.
Surrey’s appetite for erotic and romantic fiction was highlighted last year when it was revealed that the county was a UK library lending hotspot for the raunchy novel, Fifty Shades of Grey, and its two sequels.
A Surrey County Council spokesman said the surge in e-book loans follows a growing trend in library use which now sees almost half of all visits to the county’s libraries carried out online. January was the busiest month in Surrey’s ebook history with 2,469 loans.
The most popular e-book in 2012 was the romance novel, At the Argentinean Billionaire’s Bidding, by India Grey, followed by Bedded by the Greek Billionaire by Kate Walker, and Beauty and the Billionaire by Barbara Dunlop.
Helyn Clack, Surrey County Council’s cabinet member for community services, said: “Erotic fiction seems to be going through a revival at the moment, which is fuelling e-book borrowing.”
Coun Clack said: “Romance novels are a guilty pleasure for some and they like the fact you can’t judge an e-reader by its cover. “And I think the popularity of e-readers and tablet computers as Christmas presents also helped make January our busiest e-book month.”
She added: “The way people borrow and read books is undergoing a digital revolution, sweeping both the library world and the publishing industry. “In Surrey we’ve been anticipating these changing trends to ensure people can experience the joy of a good read from the library, no matter how they choose to borrow a book.”
She said the county council is currently at the forefront of talks with publishers to increase the range of e-books available through libraries.
However, she said while embracing new technology, the council is also focused on investing in traditional libraries. In 2011, the new Dorking library was opened, and last year Woking library underwent a complete refurbishment.
To find out more about ebooks and borrowing them, visit: www.surreycc.gov.uk/libraries