Jacqueline Wilson claims the title of most borrowed author in Britain’s public libraries, a once all-but unassailable position held by the late Catherine Cookson and her dreadful romances for elderly ladies. Can’t say I’ve ever read her myself, but Wilson is very popular with young girls and I know our former kid’s books buyer, Angie, loves her stuff and says the author herself is very nice, and she knows her kid’s books like I know my SF and Scottish, so I’ll take her word for it.
Wilson said humbly that the fact the Cookson has been gone for a few years now while she is still putting out novels obviously helped. I can’t help but think it’s not just Cookson’s death but the fact that her major audience is very elderly women with no taste and it’s probably fair to assume a fair few of them have shuffled off the mortal coil in the last couple of years too. Or maybe they’re all reading Mave Binchy or Danielle Steel or some other awful generic rubbish. Oh, how judgemental we booksellers are.