Library readers hunger for hit book

Jennifer Lawrence in the film adaption of the first Hunger Games book. Photo / supplied
Jennifer Lawrence in the film adaption of the first Hunger Games book. Photo / supplied

Readers might have to shelve plans to borrow a copy of post-apocalyptic teen novel The Hunger Games from Auckland libraries - there are 2610 people in the queue to borrow it.

The book, by American Suzanne Collins, heads a list of the most requested titles. Even with 229 copies available and four more on order, readers are waiting up to three months for a copy, Auckland Libraries regional resources manager Louise LaHatte said.

In the capital 226 people are queuing for city libraries' 51 copies and in Christchurch 365 people are waiting for 75 books.

The story is about 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who is selected by lottery to take part in an annual event in which 12 boys and 12 girls battle for their lives until only one is left.

The second and third books in the trilogy, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, were also popular, said Ms LaHatte.

Aucklander Missy Fleming refused to wait for a library copy of the books and bought the trilogy instead.

"I read them in three days - I didn't get out of bed."

Hunger Games has proved more popular than Auckland libraries' previous most sought-after titles, the Twilight series, Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy and the Harry Potter books.

"This is really a unprecedented demand," said Ms LaHatte.

Spinoffs, including a cookbook, were also flying off the shelves, she said.

The library had a system which alerted staff when there was a lot of interest in a book and typically when they got to five requests, the library looked at ordering more copies.

Because of interest in the first installment in the series, the library had made several additional orders, she said.

For those unwilling to wait, a copy from Whitcoulls costs $18-$23.

The book had been selling steadily since since it came out four years ago, but interest spiked in all three books with the release of a film adaption, said Whitcoulls book manager Joan Mackenzie.

"It's right up there as one of the phenomena of recent years. It's thousands and thousands we've sold. For most of this calendar year it's been enormous, she said.

The Hunger Games film has eight nominations for next month's MTV Movie Awards, including movie of the year, female performance, male performance and breakthrough performance.

- APNZ

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