Is Richard Armitage at your public library (eight years later)?

I wrote a version of this post years ago, but was prompted to think of it again when I was searching our public library page for his audiobooks and ran across this result in a “Richard Armitage” keyword search.

OK, believe me, if Richard Armitage were a historian, I would KNOW.

The general thesis statement of this post is that Armitage is absolutely holding steady and even gaining over his northeastern Wisconsin public presence in 2011. This should be a comfort to us all.

These results reflect (with some exceptions) a tri-county library system, not just one library. I’m not sure why I put these in this order back in 2011, but I’m following the order in my original post.


Robin Hood, series 1. 6 physical copies (+2), all available (significant drop). But this season is also available on Hoopla (I would not recommend watching it that way, as it limits the viewer to 6 episodes per month).

Robin Hood, series 2. 3 physical copies (same), all available (significant drop).

Robin Hood, series 3. 1 copy (-1; probably a lost or stolen item rather than a de-acquisition). Available (down significantly).

However, we do have one item that was not available eight years ago (although it had been made), a Hoopla version of Parenthood, the fourth RH 1 audiobook, with Armitage as narrator. Overall, in the library and from Armitage’s oeuvre, there are many more audiobooks available now than there were eight years ago. I’d add that back in 2011, Robin Hood was still running periodically on BBCA and there were plenty of moms and kids who saw it at home and were interested in rewatches.

Continuing on to Spooks:

Series 7: one copy, available (steady).

Series 8: one copy, available (steady).

Series 9: two copies (+1), both available.

Spooks (i.e., MI-5) was never anywhere near as popular in the U.S. as it was elsewhere in the world. It was shown primarily on PBS. I keep thinking it will make a comeback, though.

Then there’s The Impressionists:

Two copies (+1), one checked out.

Perennial winner North & South?

Six copies (+4!), all available. I imagine circulation of this title fluctuates a lot according to whether it’s available on Netflix (which it currently is). There’s also one copy (-1) of The Gaskell Collection available, which includes North & South.

In 2011, I mentioned these titles:

George Gently: 1 copy (steady), available, plus additional access via Hoopla.

Malice Aforethought: 1 copy (steady), available.

Vicar of Dibley (“Wholly Holy Happy Ending”): 1 copy. Checked out (steady).

Miss Marple: 2 copies (+1), both available, plus additional access via Hoopla.

Inspector Lynley Mysteries: 1 copy (steady), plus 1 copy of the complete set (+1), plus additional access via Hoopla.

As in 2011, there is still no copy of Strike Back (Origins), although the library only has the second and final seasons of the continued series anyway. We still have no copy of Macbeth, either. However, the system did acquire a single copy of ShakespeaRE-told.

The bigger story is what the library has added since 2011.

I am not going to sort out the different editions of the Hobbit films in this discussion (there were always at least three options at release, and sometimes four — DVD, blu-ray, extended, etc., etc., even editions that had different features specific to the store offering them). The library system has 23 separate records for different variations on items in this category.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: 38 copies (+38). About half are checked out. There are also four CD copies of Howard Shore’s soundtrack (which included Armitage singing).

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: 33 copies (+33). About half are checked out.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies: 33 copies (+33). About a third are checked out.

And there’s one copy of the compendium of all the Jackson Tolkien films (+1), checked out, with a really long waiting list.

This is perhaps unsurprising, as the Hobbit films were mass release and huge box office winners.

And same deal with Captain America: The First Avenger, of which our system has 19 copies (+19).

And with Alice Through the Looking Glass, of which we own 30 copies (+30).

The library also added the following titles.

Ocean’s 8: 28 copies (+28); all checked out with waiting lists.

Into the Storm: 15 copies (+15); about 2/3 checked out.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz: 1 CD copy (+1), checked out; 24 e-audiobook copies (+24), checked out, with 65 additional holds; plus access through Hoopla.

Heads You Win: 2 physical copies (+2), checked out; 3 e-audiobook copies (+2), checked out, with 3 additional holds.

Pilgrimage: 3 physical copies (+3), 1 currently checked out; plus access through Hoopla.

Castlevania, season 1: 2 physical copies (+2), both checked out.

The Hiding Place: 2 physical copies (+1), both checked out; 2 e-audiobooks (+2), both checked out, plus two holds.

Berlin Station, season 1: 1 physical copy, checked out.

Hannibal, season 3: 1 physical copy, checked out, three holds.

Sylvester: 1 physical copy (available); 2 e-audiobooks (+2), 1 checked out.

Venetia: 2 e-audiobooks (+2), both checked out.

The Convenient Marriage: 2 e-audiobooks (+2), both checked out.

Missing here are Brain on Fire (there was never a legal DVD edition of this title for the U.S., and it streams on Netflix) and Sleepwalker (again, no physical DVD, but available on multiple streaming services). I also don’t know if public libraries have Audible access, but whether they do or not, ours doesn’t. The non-Audible audiobooks have spotty coverage as well.

Finally, here’s another recent Armitage in the library post (from someone significantly more positive about Coben than I am). For comparison, our library system has 30 copies of the hardcover, 11 copies of the large print edition, 10 copies of the audiobook on CD, 4 copies of the mass market paperback, and 6 copies of the e-book. I did not look to see how many of them were checked out, but copy numbers like this typically reflect anticipated overwhelming initial demand for a title that will have some staying power over the years. The only book that I’ve checked out from the library in years that had this kind of availability was Michelle Obama’s autobiography.

~ by Servetus on August 12, 2019.

18 Responses to “Is Richard Armitage at your public library (eight years later)?”

  1. Silver butte? Golden butte more like. And murdered? No, no, no. What reassuring library data though, particularly as only oday I was trying to find a large Richard Armitage mug online but found a very scanty selection of mugs with his presence compared with previous times. I’m interested that the library has a copy of Malice Aforethought, legit I suppose, as I have a strange pseudo legit import one and didn’t know there were better, versions. It’s heartening to see N&S”s resurgent popularity, I imagine thanks to Netflix – and your library perhaps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel like the bling has disappeared, too — there used to be comparatively more Mr Thornton stuff, too.

      “Malice Aforethought” (the copy in our library) is a Region 1 DVD produced by WGBH in Boston — probably indicates that it was shown on PBS at some point.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the link love.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, that’s a great RA library collection!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, just wow. Your library really has a great selection of RA’s oeuvre. This is really interesting – I’d love to find out for my local library too (and suspect it won’t be as well-stocked). It would also be interesting to see borrowing stats (probably not available).


  5. Interesting post. It inspired me to do the same search in my public library, and it had a ton of audio books, Hobbit movies, Robin Hood, MI-5/Spooks, N&S, Captain America, Shakespeare Retold, Castlevania, Pilgrimage, Oceans 8, and Berlin Station Season 1. Also, a Miss Marple show that I have never seen and will now check out. Some of the other titles only show up if you search for them as he must not be listed, like Vicar of Dibley and Inspector Lynley and Inspector George Gently. Strike Back is in the library too but doesn’t show up by his name.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Interesting datum: the Jackson LOTR films are not streamable anywhere in the US. I wonder if that’s true for TH as well? That would also mean that the discs were the only way to see it here.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. WOW, that’s a lot of RA love at the library! 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: