DC, Arlington libraries share top books of 2023

Libraries in the District and Arlington, Virginia, are sharing their lists of top titles checked out by readers this year.

Washingtonians spent their time borrowing, streaming or downloading more than 7 million items from the DC Public Library, according to a news release.

“This year, Washingtonians were interested in graphic novels and memoirs,” the system said. ” … eBooks and eAudiobooks covered a range of genres, and streaming services like Kanopy attracted viewers to international films and children’s shows. Technology skill courses on LinkedIn Learning also saw significant engagement.”

Among the District’s top reads (by category):

  • Fiction — “Dog Man: Twenty Thousand Fleas Under the Sea” by Dav Pilkey
  • Nonfiction — “Crying in H Mart” by Michelle Zauner
  • Adult Fiction — “Lessons in Chemistry” by Bonnie Garmus
  • Adult Nonfiction — “Crying in H Mart” by Michelle Zauner
  • Youth Fiction — “Dog Man: Twenty Thousand Fleas Under the Sea” by Dav Pilkey
  • Youth Nonfiction — “Cold War Correspondent” by Nathan Hale
  • Fiction eBooks — “Verity” by Colleen Hoover
  • Fiction eAudiobooks — “Fourth Wing” by Rebecca Yarros
  • Nonfiction eBooks — “I’m Glad My Mom Died” by Jennette McCurdy
  • Nonfiction eAudiobooks — “101 Essays That Will Change the Way You Think” by Brianna Wiest
  • Magazines/Newspapers — The New Yorker

Aside from those texts, the film Everything Everywhere All at Once was the top video streamed on the library’s Kanopy application. Blippi was the top video from Kanopy Kids.

You can check out the full list on the library’s website.


Arlington Public Library readers had several popular titles, including books like “Spare” by Prince Harry and “The Summer I Turned Pretty: A Summer Novel” by Jenny Han. The Dog Man series also won big with young readers, though the big ticket item for the system was Garmus’ book “Lessons in Chemistry” — there were more than 5,000 checkouts of that book.

Peter Petruski, the Library Division Chief for Arlington, said the list of titles checked out by patrons this year was impressive.

“It shows the continued diversity with our collection and proclaims Arlington is a community of readers,” Petruski said in a statement.

Aside from the top adult titles “Spare” and “Lessons in Chemistry,” the system’s top 20 adult books checked out this year included, in part:

  • “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” by Gabrielle Zevin
  • “Fourth Wing” by Rebecca Yarros
  • “Demon Copperhead” by Barbara Kingsolver
  • “Happy Place” by Emily Henry
  • “I’m Glad My Mom Died” by Jennette McCurdy
  • “The Covenant of Water” by Abraham Verghese
  • “A Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah Maas

Four of the top five reads for kids in Arlington libraries went to Dav Pilker’s “Dog Man” series, with the exception of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffley’s Journal” by Jeff Kinney.

Sarah Maas’ series of novels, including the first “Throne of Glass” book, took three of the top five young adult spots in Arlington. Also included: “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” by Suzanne Collins and “The Summer I Turned Pretty” by Jenny Han.

The Arlington Public Library’s full list is available online.

Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for WTOP.com. Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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