Teuila Fuatai is a reporter for the NZ Herald

Road code a hot ticket item for library thieves

The New Zealand Road Code was the most stolen book in Rotorua's District Library last year.

Manager Jane Gilbert said the rule book was one of the most popular items, but went "walkabout" at least twice each year.

Copies of the road code were available in the library from the reference section.

Desperate readers have left sets of keys and other personal items at the desk just so they could keep a copy of the road code, Mrs Gilbert said.

"Now, we ask for personal ID."

Copies available for use outside the library were stored behind the desk and only handed over once they were issued to a member.

All borrowers who had never returned the book were marked in the library system, Mrs Gilbert said.

Magazines were another commonly nicked item.

Recently, a man was caught trying to steal seven magazines.

"He had ripped the bar codes out," Mrs Gilbert said.

"We handed him over to the police ... because it is a crime."

The most popular new book last year was Nora Roberts' latest romance novel The Last Boyfriend.

Since it hit library shelves at the end of May, 18 readers checked it out.

The latest addition to American author Lee Child's Jack Reacher series, A Wanted Man, was also a hit - issued at least 12 times since June.

The film adaptation premiered in December last year.

Cookbooks also had a good run last year. Recipe books from New Zealand celebrity chef Annabel Langbein as well as Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver increased in popularity since the MasterChef competitions began screening, Mrs Gilbert said.

And despite international hype around adult novel Fifty Shades of Grey, the read failed to compete with long-running favourites from authors like Nora Roberts and Lee Child - books from both authors also featured on the top 10 fiction issues last year.

The entire Fifty Shades series, was a big hit initially, she said.

"But, they've pretty much done their run now."

Popularity around the Twilight vampire series also trended a similar way.

Once excitement around the movies died down, there were less issues, Mrs Gilbert said.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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