Prince Harry’s ‘Spare’ finds fan base in Riverside County

PALM DESERT — Prince Harry’s record-breaking memoir, ‘Spare’ has been greeted by a hungry-for-more-details audience in Riverside County.

The Riverside County Library System received 25 hard copies of the juicy tell-all according to a reference librarian at the Palm Desert Library. Each book can be checked out for two weeks and possibly renewed if the patron wishes. As of Wednesday morning, 227 people had put their names on a waiting list hoping to learn more about the royals.

The library system also received 30 audio books. All have been checked out and at least 19 people in line hoping to hear Prince Harry in his own voice, Mike Lin, a library technician, told Uken Report.

Two large-print copies are also in the library system. One is currently checked out. The second is waiting to be cataloged.

Harry published his memoir on Jan. 10 and, despite being leaked to the media beforehand, became the fastest selling non-fiction book of all time, earning him a Guinness World Record.

“It’s pretty high in demand,” Lin said.

In Palm Springs, Jeannie Kays, Director of Library Services, told Uken Report that, obviously the library’s hold numbers change day by day, but it currently has seven hardcover copies of the book, with 12 holds. It has one copy as an audiobook on CD with eight holds. In Libby, it currently has one eBook copy with 22 holds. It has two downloadable audiobooks with 26 holds, also in Libby, which is a free app where you can borrow ebooks, digital audiobooks, and magazines from your public library.

“We watch our hold numbers for popular titles and can add copies when we see a high demand. We are very fortunate in the City of Palm Springs, to be able to serve our community in a way that meets their needs sooner than other library systems,” Kays said.dd

While these hold numbers might seem high, they are nothing compared to larger library systems. If you look at our neighboring library system, Riverside County Library System has 227 holds on 25 hardcover copies of the same title. Another example, San Diego Public Library has 684 holds on 80 copies.

“We all cooperate so that our users have access to the most resources possible,” Kays said.

Libraries all over the country are finding themselves swamped by the demand for the royal tell-all in all its forms — hard copy, e-book, and audiobook, the last of which has Harry reading his own story.

Even as libraries have been striving to increase their inventory of the book, the public appetite continues. According to OverDrive, the parent company of the Libby library reading apps, it has never seen this kind of demand for an e-book at public libraries in 20 years of business and millions of titles.

Clips from the audiobook have gone viral online, including the section in which the royal describes experiencing frostbite on his penis and how he used Princess Diana’s favorite lip cream as a home remedy for it. Sections of the royal half singing the lyrics to Elton John’s “Your Song” and the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe” have also been widely shared.

According to Newsweek, “Spare” could earn Prince Harry one of the world’s most prestigious music awards, as the royal’s 15-hour-long self-narrated audiobook version of Spare qualifies him to be considered for the Grammy’s Best Audio Book, Narration & Storytelling Recording category.

Riverside County Library System (RCLS) is a public library system with 35 locations, two Mobile Resource Vans, two museums and a Creation Station in Riverside County, California. RCLS serves a diverse population of 1.4 million residents in a very large geography covering 7,303 square miles.

RCLS locations are the educational and cultural centers of their communities. By providing modern public libraries, Riverside County, realizes its vision “to be a proactive county that provides community, business, government, and regional leadership.” Services include a collection of more than 1.3 million books, materials and electronic resources, and educational and literacy, job and career development and life enrichment programs make Riverside County an even better place to live, work, raise families, and do business.

Image Sources

  • Spare: Shutterstock