May 27, 2022

Lists: The Most Popular eBooks and Audiobooks Borrowed From Libraries in the OverDrive Global Network in 2019

From OverDrive:

A record 73 public library systems in five countries loaned over 1 million digital books to readers in 2019. Achieving this unprecedented level of reader engagement: 45 city or county library systems and 28 regional or state consortiums. Eight libraries reached this million book milestone for the first time.

[The following] data was reported by Rakuten OverDrive for over 43,000 libraries and schools worldwide.


2019 digital book lending records from the OverDrive global network include:

  • Total digital checkouts from libraries and schools: 326 million (+20% over 2018)
  • Ebooks borrowed: 211 million (+15%)
  • Audiobooks borrowed: 114 million (+30%, outpacing ebooks for the 6th straight year)
  • Ebook and audiobook holds/wait listed: 129 million (+21%)
  • Children/YA genre checkouts: 59 million (+27%)
  • 73 public library systems around the world (+12%) with over 1 million digital book checkouts, including 22 over 2 million checkouts, five over 3 million, four over 4 million, five over 5 million and one over 6 million
  • New public library (digital) users: 5 million (+12%)

Most popular ebooks borrowed from libraries in 2019:

  1. Where the Crawdads Singby Delia Owens (Penguin Publishing Group)
  2. Becoming by Michelle Obama (Crown)
  3. Educated by Tara Westover (Random House Publishing Group)
  4. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty (Flatiron Books)
  5. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (Penguin Publishing Group)

Most popular audiobooks borrowed from libraries in 2019:

  1. Becoming by Michelle Obama (Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group)
  2. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group)
  3. Educated by Tara Westover (Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group)
  4. Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis (Thomas Nelson)
  5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling (Pottermore Publishing)

Top digital books borrowed from libraries by genre:

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.