Top E-books, Audiobooks Borrowed from Public Libraries in 2020 Reflect Interest in Social Justice

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Remote learning, a renewed interest in social justice reform, and the quarantine lockdown measures during a pandemic contributed to a global increase in e-book and audiobook usage.

As the global pandemic closed buildings and led to widespread remote learning, readers turned to their local libraries more than ever for digital books. OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for 64,000 libraries and schools worldwide, released 2020’s most popular ebooks and audiobooks downloaded from the public library. Readers borrowed and read these digital books on the award-winning Libby reading app.

Many of these books address social justice issues and land within the top 10 for the first time. These lists are based on record circulation in public libraries around the globe.

Top 10 E-books from Public Libraries Worldwide in 2020

  1. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  2. Becoming by Michelle Obama
  3. Educated by Tara Westover
  4. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  5. The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
  6. White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
  7. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
  8. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
  9. The Guardians by John Grisham
  10. Blue Moon by Lee Child

Top 10 Audiobooks from Public Libraries Worldwide in 2020

  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
  2. Becoming by Michelle Obama
  3. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  4. Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
  5. Educated by Tara Westover
  6. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
  7. So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo
  8. White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
  9. The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
  10. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Top 10 New Fiction E-books, Audiobooks from Public Libraries Worldwide in 2020

  1. Walk the Wire by David Baldacci
  2. Camino Winds by John Grisham
  3. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  4. The Guest List by Lucy Foley
  5. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
  6. The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
  7. American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
  8. In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
  9. Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner
  10. Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

Top 10 New Non-Fiction E-books, Audiobooks from Public Libraries Worldwide in 2020

  1. Untamed by Glennon Doyle
  2. The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson
  3. Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
  4. Too Much and Never Enough by Mary L. Trump
  5. Open Book by Jessica Simpson
  6. Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker
  7. The Room Where It Happened by John Bolton
  8. Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
  9. A Very Stable Genius by Philip Rucker
  10. Wow, No Thank You. by Samantha Irby

Top 10 Juvenile / Young Adult E-books, Audiobooks from Public Libraries Worldwide in 2020

  1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
  2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney
  3. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
  4. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  6. Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic by Michael McCreary
  7. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  8. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  9. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  10. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

What is OverDrive? Serving a growing network of 65,000 libraries and schools in 84 countries, OverDrive delivers the industry’s largest digital catalog of e-books, audiobooks, magazines, and other content through award-winning apps. The Libby reading app for libraries is one of Popular Mechanics’ 20 Best Apps of the Decade, while the student reading app Sora is one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2019. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Libby app from Overdrive is available from over 20,000 public libraries around the world. Through Libby, users have free access with a valid library card to e-books, audiobooks, comic books, magazines, and cookbooks.

For more information on how to borrow digital e-books and audiobooks from your local library, visit the library locator page on the OverDrive website: overdrive.com/libraries.

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