New York Public Library honors its most borrowed book for 125th anniversary

The library also created limited-edition cards with art from "The Snowy Day."

There are millions of books to choose from at the New York Public Library, but in the system's 125-year history, a simple illustrated children's story has stood the test of time and transcended generations as the most-borrowed book.

In honor of the library's 125th anniversary, a team of experts "carefully evaluated a series of key factors to determine the most borrowed books, including historic checkout and circulation data (for all formats, including e-books), overall trends, current events, popularity, length of time in print, and presence in the Library catalog."

The library announced "The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats, which tells the tale of Peter and his wintry adventure, has tallied the most checkouts with 485,583.

"In print and in the Library’s catalog continuously since 1962, this charming, beautifully illustrated tale of a child enjoying the simple magic that snow brings to his city is one of the Library’s top circulated books every year, across all neighborhoods we serve," the library wrote on its website. "The story -- available in a multitude of languages -- has a universal appeal and is well-known, being both a Caldecott Medal winner and one of the earliest examples of diversity in children’s books."

According to the library, the length of the book, the length of time in print, multiple languages and universal appeal are all key factors in what got these books to the top of the list.

"The shorter the book, the more turnover or circulation. This is why children's books are often among the most circulated," the library said.

To continue the celebration, the New York Public Library also created a limited-edition library card and MetroCard that features art from the beloved 1962 picture book.

Since the storied building on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan first filled its shelves and opened its doors in 1895, millions of books have been checked out by patrons of all ages throughout the city.

Here's a look at the rest of the top 10 checkouts.

2. "The Cat in the Hat" by Dr. Seuss - 469,650 checkouts
3. "1984" by George Orwell - 441,770 checkouts
4. "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak
5. "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee - 422,912 checkouts
6. "Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White - 337,948 checkouts
7. "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury - 316,404 checkouts
8. "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie - 284,524 checkouts
9. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" by J.K. Rowling - 231,022 checkouts
10. "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle - 189,550 checkouts