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Highway Code beats Fifty Shades of Grey in battle to be most-borrowed book in Leicester


Everyone may have been talking about Fifty Shades of Grey last year.

But it seems library users in Leicester are more interested in reading about the slightly less saucy subject of the Highway Code.

The Official DSA Theory Test for Car Drivers was the most borrowed from city libraries in 2012, with the title taken out more than 1,000 times during the year.

EL James's bestseller could only manage sixth in the list of fiction and non-fiction favourites.

Bosses said the variety of books in the top 10 showed libraries were being used by people of all ages.

Sarah Russell, assistant mayor responsible for libraries and a self-confessed bookworm, said: "I think there's a really nice mix of new books and modern classics, and a range for all ages.

"People are still using libraries for fiction as well as the practical stuff.

"I don't think libraries are getting more popular but reading is becoming more widespread thanks to e-readers and book groups and libraries are maintaining their place in people's lives."

As a mum of children aged six and nine, Sarah said she had read most of the books on the top 10.

She said: "I love The Twits, by Roald Dahl, which was a book I read myself when I was young and read to my kids, too.

"They're both avid readers and my son gets through so many graphic novels we rely on the library, because if we had to buy them all it would bankrupt us."

Just outside the top 10 were books such as Life in the United Kingdom: A Journey to Citizenship, with 437 loans; Life in the UK Test, with 436 loans; and the Gujarati version of the chart-topping Official Theory Test, which was loaned out 435 times.

Dee Byrd, 44, from Saffron Lane, said: "I've read Fifty Shades of Grey and I've tried to get my husband to give it go, too. He's not having it though.

"I thought it was good – I think they call it 'mummy porn' because it's a bit fruity."

Terrance Warren, 62, from Oadby, said: "I remember reading The Twits to my children when they were young – it's nice to see it's still popular.

"I tend to go for the historical crime novels, things such as Cadfael and PD James. I don't think they'll ever go out of fashion."

Anne Swift, 53, of Aylestone, said: "I suppose it's good youngsters are actually reading the Highway Code."

Leicestershire County Council also released a list of its most-borrowed books, which is dominated by children's books about monsters and underpants. Top was The Gruffalo, by Julia Donaldson, followed by Pants, by Giles Andreae, and Aliens Love Underpants, by Claire Freedman.

Highway Code beats Fifty Shades of Grey in battle to be  most-borrowed book in Leicester

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