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Arts & Entertainment

Top 10 books San Franciscans are reading this year

A person holds a book with "S.F. Public Library" stamped on it.
Library lover Jen Norris is seen holding a book while she rides the bus on her way to the Civic Center branch of the San Francisco public library system in San Francisco on Friday, April 8, 2022. Norris has visited all 21 branches of the public library system either by foot or public transportation. | Nick Otto | Source: Nick Otto for The Standard

SFPL has over 3 million books in its collection, but only a handful have the honor of being the top circulated titles across all of its libraries. 

Crying in H Mart and the latest fiction by Irish novelist Sally Rooney rank among the top adult fiction and non-fiction titles read by San Franciscans in 2022, perhaps reflecting the influence of Book TikTok. SF's young readers seem to be in a bit of a strange place these days, circulating four installations of the Dog Man series and a graphic novel called Guts more than any other titles. 

These rankings look different when viewed branch by branch. Each library caters to a unique neighborhood and set of patrons, and circulation often reflects that fact: the Chinatown branch includes Chinese language titles within its top five most popular genres, while the Western Addition branch (located right below Japantown) shows Japanese non-fiction titles among its most circulated genres. 

In an effort to showcase the diversity of SFPL’s branches and patrons, the library launched its Explorer Program last fall, which encouraged residents to visit each of SFPL’s branches. 

Check out the map below to see how materials in circulation vary between each neighborhood branch. While the list of top 5 types of materials circulated at each site almost always includes juvenile media (fiction, picture stories, graphic novels), general fiction and DVDs/feature films, our map highlights three “unique” genres that show up within the top 25 materials circulated at a given branch—everything from teen magazines to rock CDs and cookbooks.