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The most popular comics checked out from libraries worldwide - for kids AND adults

Reading Without Walls
(Image credit: Gene Luen Yang (American Library Association))

How people get their comic books and graphic novels has changed somewhat with the COVID-19 pandemic, but one way that'll never change is getting comics from libraries.

While libraries have been visited less in the past year due to the pandemic, it has also illuminated how readers can use their library digitally with services like OverDrive and its Libby app - a digital reading service that partners with local libraries for books, magazines, and yes, comic books and graphic novels.

Dog Man

(Image credit: Dav Pilkey (Scolastic/Graphix))

In the past 12 months, comics books and graphic novels were checked out over 15 million times from public libraries.

What are the most popular comics, manga, and graphic novels at libraries? A new study by OverDrive, using its connecting with libraries in the US and beyond, has an answer - 10 in fact, five for juvenile books and five for young adult/adult books.

Top 5 Juvenile Comics checked out from public libraries worldwide:

  1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney
  2. Big Nate series by Lincoln Peirce
  3. Smile series by Raina Telgemeier
  4. Dog Man series by Dav Pilkey
  5. Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

Long Way Down

(Image credit: Danica Novgorodoff (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books))

Top 5 Young Adult/Adult Comics checked out from public libraries worldwide:

  1. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds and Danica Novgorodoff
  2. The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and Yuko Uramoto
  3. The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
  4. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy
  5. Umbrella Academy, Volume 1 by Gerard Way

Look for more resources on the crossroads of libraries and comic books? Check out the American Library Association's Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table.

Libby is one of several ways to read comics digitally. Check out our list of the best digital comics readers for Android and iOS devices. 

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)