Surrey's love of erotic fiction has been credited with an 22 per cent increase in e-book loans.

A boom in tablet computer sales is also thought to contribute to the rise in e-books borrowed from Surrey County Council Libraries.

E-books borrowed from the libraries swelled from 16,231 in 2011 to 19,847 last year - an increase of 3,616.

Helyn Clack, cabinet member for community services, said: "Erotic fiction seems to be going through a revival at the moment which is fuelling e-book borrowing.

"Romance novels are a guilty pleasure for some and they like the fact you can’t judge an e-reader by its cover."

Top 10 most popular e-books borrowed from Surrey County Council libraries in 2012:

1. At the Argentinean Billionaire’s Bidding by India Grey

2. Bedded by the Greek Billionaire by Kate Walker

3. Beauty and the Billionaire by Barbara Dunlop

4. Hajar’s Hidden Legacy by Maisey Yates

5. Beyond His Control by Stephanie Tyler

6. The Secret Sinclair by Cathy Williams

7. All or Nothing by Debbi Rawlins

8. Say It with Diamonds by Lucy King

9. The Talk of Hollywood by Carole Mortimer

10. The Lady Confesses by Carole Mortimer