It’s not so easy to find information about books that are most often borrowed from public libraries.
Fortunately, there is OverDrive, a leading provider of digital content to public libraries and educational institutions around the world.
OverDrive is revealing a list of top library ebooks every year, but the latest news release puts together the most popular library ebooks and audiobooks of all time. The company is celebrating one billion digital checkouts and accompanies this breath-taking milestone with a special infographic that also includes interesting facts and figures never seen before.
Below, you will find OverDrive’s Top 10 Library Ebook and Audiobook Checkouts of All Time. The list is based on the number of checkouts since the launch of the digital distribution platform in April 2003. The data comes from over 40,000 connected public libraries, schools, and colleges located in over 50 countries and destinations worldwide.
Currently, OverDrive’s catalog includes over 2 million titles from 5,000 publishers. On average, users are borrowing 12 titles every single second.
To can easily check out whether your public library is offering OverDrive ebooks and audiobooks. Just visit Find Your Library page and type your location or area code.
The best thing about Libby is that the app can manage all your library cards, not just one. Thanks to that, you will be able to borrow ebooks and audiobooks from several libraries – and all titles will appear in one catalog.
Which books from the list below you’d love to read or re-read? They may be easier to get than you think. All you need to do is check out whether your local library offers ebooks via OverDrive.
Top 10 most borrowed library ebooks and audiobooks
1. Gone Girl
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears.
Passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media – as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents – the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior.
Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter – but is he really a killer?
2. Fifty Shades of Grey
When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating.
The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her.
When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.
3. The Girl on the Train
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she is watching the same couple breakfasting on their deck. Jason, she calls them.
Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough.
Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
4. A Game of Thrones
George R.R. Martin
From a master of contemporary fantasy comes the first novel of a landmark series unlike any you’ve ever read before. With A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin has launched a genuine masterpiece, bringing together the best the genre has to offer.
Mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill the pages of this magnificent saga, the first volume in an epic series sure to delight fantasy fans everywhere.
Sweeping from a harsh land of cold to a summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, A Game of Thrones tells a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.
5. The Book Thief
It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.
By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery.
So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordion-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.
The Book Thief is a story about the power of words to make worlds. In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.
6. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow – impossible though it seems – they may still be alive.
A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.
7. All the Light We Cannot See
A beautiful, stunningly ambitious novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
Marie-Laure has been blind since the age of six. When the Nazis invade, father and daughter flee with a dangerous secret.
Werner is a German orphan, destined to labour in the same mine that claimed his father’s life, until he discovers a knack for engineering. His talent wins him a place at a brutal military academy, but his way out of obscurity is built on suffering.
As Europe is engulfed by war and lives collide unpredictably, All The Light We Cannot See is a captivating and devastating elegy for innocence.
8. Sycamore Row (Jake Brigance Series, Book 2)
We return to Ford County as Jake Brigance finds himself embroiled in a fiercely controversial trial that exposes a tortured history of racial tension.
Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten will.
The will raises many more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly? And what does it all have to do with a piece of land once known as Sycamore Row?
9. Fifty Shades Darker
Daunted by the dark secrets of the tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Ana Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a US publishing house.
But desire for Grey still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, she cannot resist. Soon she is learning more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven and demanding Fifty Shades than she ever thought possible.
But while Grey wrestles with his inner demons, Ana must make the most important decision of her life. And it’s a decision she can only make on her own…
10. The Goldfinch
Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend.
Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.
As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love—and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.
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Keep exploring. Here are more posts and lists about libraries in the digital age:
- River-inspired Japanese library becomes a favorite meeting point for kids
- Censorship by the numbers (infographic)
- Top most challenged books of 2018 in the United States (infographic)
- Book Bot library robot returns books free of charge in Silicon Valley
- The clear correlation between libraries and literacy rates (infographic)