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Staff Photo / Andy Gray Warren’s Gary McGee browses the shelves at the main branch of the Warren-Trumbull County Public Library.

WARREN – At the main branch of the Warren-Trumbull County Public Library, the shelves are overflowing with books, DVDs, CDs and audiobooks.

However, more and more library cardholders are opting for digital downloads over physical media.

“We’ve definitely had an increase in ebooks and digital materials,” Public relations manager Cheryl Bush said. “This trend has increased every year, but certainly in the last year.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, downloads have made it easier for consumers to access library resources without leaving their homes.

It’s not the only thing that has accelerated the trend towards digital, however…

“Fewer people are consulting (physical) audio books because new cars no longer have CD players.” says Bush. “They just download them to their phone.”

Compiling a list of the most viewed articles in 2021, the list of authors who filled the list of books did not hold any surprises.

James Patterson, whose name appears on more books each year than the average person reads, tops the list with “The Red Book” co-written with David Ellis. “21st Birthday” a Patterson-Maxine Paetro collaboration, was the fourth most popular book by Warren and its five branches.

Danielle Steel and David Baldacci also had several top 10 titles, and the list was filled with other best-selling authors like Kristin Hannah, John Grisham, Janet Evanovich, and Harlan Coben.

“We tend to see a lot of household names on these lists,” says Bush.

The library looks at these usage figures to determine how many copies to purchase of the author’s next book.

“We really want to provide the authors that are popular and the kinds of genres that people seem to like, mysteries and thrillers,” says Bush.

Many of these same authors proved popular in Mahoning County. The six best titles from the Youngstown and Mahoning County Public Library, which includes the main library and 14 branches, mixed with Nicholas Sparks and Sandra Brown along with Patterson, Hannah, Grisham and Evanovich.

Five of the Warren-Trumbull Library System’s Top 10 Books also made the Best Audiobooks list with Baldacci’s “A Man Who Plays” as the most popular.

Novels by John Sandford, Stephen King, Nora Roberts, CJ Box and Jonathan Kellerman fared better with listeners than reading all of them securing a spot in the top 10.

While Trumbull’s and Mahoning’s readers had many similarities, there was much more variety in movie choices among patrons of both library systems.

Trumbull’s Best DVD – Liam Neeson’s Action Tale “The Marksmen didn’t make the top 10 in Mahoning. His No. 1 movie – the live action version of Disney”Mulan” – is missing from Trumbull’s list.

And while superhero movies dominate in theaters, the only Marvel movie on either list is “Black Widow,” which was Trumbull’s sixth most popular title.

Just as the list of films included a mix of animated films for children and adults and crime thrillers, the list of most viewed CDs also had a wide range of appeals.

Warren-Trumbull’s Top 10 CDs were led by a baby boomer favorite (Paul McCartney’s “McCartney III”) and also included Sting and The Eagles in the top five. However, younger artists like Billie Eilish and Pentatonix were also represented, as well as country favorites Blake Shelton and Chris Stapleton.

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