North-east prison inmates are brought to book

Inmates at Grampian’s superprison are spending their time learning about evil gangs, tattoos and even brushing up on their English by reading the dictionary in the library.

A freedom of information (FOI) request by the Evening Express has also revealed inmates at the Peterhead facility have a love of Game of Thrones DVDs and comedy hit Ted 2, starring Mark Wahlberg and Seth MacFarlane.

The most popular book at the 500-capacity prison for men and women was Vintage Tattoos by Carol Clerk and the sixth most popular was Tattoo Masters by Lal Hardy.

Criminals seem to like reading about other offenders, with the third most borrowed book being The World’s Most Evil Gangs by Nigel Blundell.

History and national pride also featured in the list, with Alistair Moffat’s book Scotland, A History From Earliest Times the second most popular.

Business Plans For Dummies also made it into the top 10, as did Starting and Running A Business All-In-One For Dummies and the Colour Oxford English Dictionary.

Fitness was a concern as well, with You Are Your Own Gym by Mark Lauren making it on to the list.

Prisoners can borrow DVDs from the HMP Grampian library and the most popular in 2016 was Ted 2.

Game Of Thrones featured second, fourth and fifth on the list and the blockbuster box-set hit about drug-dealing in America, Breaking Bad, was ninth.

The FOI revealed HMP Grampian inmates were far from alone in their love of Game Of Thrones.

On the other side of the bars, the fantasy series was the first, second and seventh most popular DVD borrowed from Aberdeenshire libraries in 2016, with several series taken out a total of 248 times.

Children’s favourites were more popular at some local libraries – the most-borrowed DVD from Aboyne and Ellon libraries was Alvin And The Chipmunks, while the favourite at Balmedie Library was Scooby Doo.

Harry Potter films made up six of Portlethen Libraries top 10.

Fiction featured quite heavily among the most-borrowed books from Aberdeenshire libraries.

John Grisham’s Rogue Lawyer was most popular – borrowed 349 times in 2016 – closely followed by Paula Hawkins’ Girl On The Train.

In Aberdeen there was no mistaking the city’s favourite author, with children’s writer Julia Donaldson’s books featuring six times on the top-10 most borrowed list.

Ian Rankin’s Even Dogs In The Wild was the most-borrowed book from Woodside Library, while Peter May’s Coffin Road was top of the list at Culter Library.

Torry Library visitors plumped for A Parent’s Guide To New Toddler Taming, while Central Library’s most popular book was Bleach by Tite Kubo.

Children’s and animated DVDs featured in the most popular movie list across the Granite City, with The Lego Movie and Minions all appearing.

Martin Greig, a member of the education and children’s services committee at Aberdeen City Council, said: “Libraries are a great resources and it is great to see such high volume of usage in the city, however, it is important we don’t get complacent and keep encouraging people to use them.

“There is really no substitute for a book. It is important to allow people to have access to the classics and the recently-released books.

“Young and old people should be encouraged to use the libraries.

“I am pleased that the opening times have remained wide in many of our libraries as it helps to accommodate people in their busy lives.”