Denver Public Library users were really into historical fiction, women authors in 2017

What Denver read, watched and listened to in 2017, according to the public library.

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The Ford-Warren Branch Library, Five Points, Dec. 13, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)  denver; colorado; denverite; kevinjbeaty; five points; denver public library; library building;

The Ford-Warren Branch Library, Five Points, Dec. 13, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Denver Public Library users were really into historical fiction, hillbilly culture and books written by women this year, according to DPL checkout data.

Altogether, DPL branches were visited more than 3.87 million times in 2017, resulting in a whole bunch of item checkouts. Below is a look at the book, e-book and DVD titles that rose to the top.

Ann Patchett’s 2016 novel, “Commonwealth,” about how an unexpected romantic encounter irrevocably changes two families’ lives, was the most checked out fiction book, the data show.

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir Of A Family And Culture In Crisis” was the most popular nonfiction book check-out and high up on the list of e-books read. The 2016 book by J.D. Vance provides an account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class.

The 2016 film “Sully” about pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger making an emergency landing in New York’s Hudson River was more popular for library goers than even Star Wars, the data show.

DPL makes major investments in e-books. The data provided by the organization shows the 2015 thriller “The Girl on Train” was the most popular book electronically read this year. Jen Sincero’s 2013 self-help book “You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” was the most popular book heard.

There is a large variation in the amount of times a title can circulate depending on format. DVDs check out for one week, books for three weeks, so it’s not strange that DVDs will always look three times more popular. The same applies to eBooks. Some publishers allow for simultaneous use meaning unlimited checkouts are available at one time. Others are one copy per user like a traditional print book, according to DPL.

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Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at or