More readers in the region are turning to e-books and audio books in lockdown while digital library memberships have skyrocketed, new figures show.

Data from libraries in Hauraki and the Coromandel reveal people have embraced reading, with David Baldacci and Lee Child featuring high on the popularity list.

But libraries will remain closed until the government gives them the green light to open their doors to the public.

Hauraki District Council Library Services team leader Melanie Brebner said there had been 254 per cent increase in digital membership in April compared to March 2020.


Digital memberships were not full memberships and only allow access to digital library services, she said.

There had also been a 33 per cent increase in the use of e-books and audiobooks in April 2020 compared with March 2020 across its libraries that included Waihi.

''This does follow a general trend in the increasing use of e-books. For example, there was a 59 per cent increase in the use of e-books in March 2020 compared with March 2019.''

On the flipside full library membership primarily done over the counter dropped 39 per cent last month compared to March 2020, which was expected, she said.

More people are reading e-books. Photo / Getty Images
More people are reading e-books. Photo / Getty Images

Brebner said it has also started an online book-chat group.

''It's for people who enjoy chatting about the books they have been reading, and a new children's reading challenge for term two. We continue to share ideas for fun things to do on our Facebook page, including construction challenges for children.''

Meanwhile a Thames Coromandel District Council spokeswoman said there were 2343 books, e-books and audio books loaned last month compared to 136 the same month last year.

Top 10 loans from Wheelers ePlatform:


1. Memory man – David Baldacci

2. Never say die – Tess Gerritsen

3. Chasing passion/Falling for Rachel/Convincing Alex – Nora Roberts

4. Hell's corner – David Baldacci

5. Worth dying for – Lee Child

6. The boy in the striped pyjamas – John Boyne

7. Angle of investigation – Michael Connelly

8. The Christmas scorpion – Lee Child

9. The Hard Way – Lee Child

10. Thriller – International thriller writers - Source Hauraki District Council

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