Staff at a north-east library were confused by the sudden upsurge in demand for a decades-old novel – before realising its popularity was due to the recommendation of a Scottish comedy legend.
Workers at Aberdeen Central Library have found that 13 people had reserved A Confederacy of Dunces, which was written by John Kennedy Toole and published 11 years after his death in 1980.
The increase in interest surrounding the book comes after it was named as Billy Connolly’s favourite during a recent TV show, where he also declared his love for the Granite City.
Mr Connolly said “one of the lovely things you can do for a person” is to give them one of your most cherished books.
And he revealed that he has given away more copies of A Confederacy of Dunces “than any other book”.
He said: “It is brilliantly funny, there is nothing nicer than laughing out loud at a book.”
Earlier in the BBC documentary, Mr Connolly recalled childhood trips to Aberdeen which were characterised by freezing dips into the North Sea.
He said: “It was in the water of Scotland’s coast as a young boy that I pieced together that pain and comedy were perfect bedfellows.
“I was in Aberdeen on holiday with school, we were down at the beach and it was grey and windy and wet.
“I love Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, but we all ran towards the water in our woolly swimming trunks while guys working on the oil rigs were in survival suits because of the low temperature of the water.”
Aberdeen Central Library staff posted on social media asking whether The Big Yin has any other literary recommendations.
In fact, Mr Connolly’s recently released book, Made In Scotland: My Grand Adventures in a Wee Country, lists several including The Call of the Wild by Jack London, On The Road by Jack Kerouac, Blandings Castle by P.G Wodehouse and Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
Whether those titles will also experience a similar rush in demand in the north-east remains to be seen.
Aberdeen Central Library has said it may source additional copies of A Confederacy of Dunces to meet demand.