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Celebrating 3 billion checkouts with the most popular ebooks of all time


Dec 05, 2022

A billion is a lot of books. But what about 3 billion? That’s how many checkouts of digital books have been borrowed by millions of readers from libraries around the world through OverDrive and the Libby reading app.

A quick history

More readers than ever before are borrowing ebooks and audiobooks from their local library through the Libby app. Back in 2012, OverDrive celebrated 100 million checkouts, and a few short years later in 2018 after unveiling the new, user-friendly Libby app, surpassed 1 billion checkouts (now that’s a lot of books!). And just this year in 2022, that number reached over 3 billion.

The pandemic sparks growth

Digital borrowing has been growing for years since the early 2000s and accelerated during the height of the pandemic, with stay-at-home orders and library branch shutdowns offering an opportune time for many to try ebooks for the first time. But the trend has continued on, even after library buildings reopened their doors, with readers of all ages continuing to discover titles they can borrow instantly. This milestone is all thanks to libraries and the work that librarians do daily to get books in hands of every reader as easily and conveniently as possible.

The top 50 ebooks of all time

So, what has everyone been reading all these years on their phones, tablets and eReaders? We’ve got the answers with a list of the 50 most popular ebooks of all time. Are you an audiobook fan? We love them, too! Check out this list of the most popular audiobooks of all time.

Drumroll, please...

1. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

3. Fifty Shades Of Grey by E L James

4. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

6. Educated by Tara Westover

7. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

8. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

9. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

10. The Whistler by John Grisham

11. Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

12. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

13. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

14. Becoming by Michelle Obama

15. A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

16. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

17. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

18. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

19. The Four Winds: a Novel by Kristin Hannah

20. Fifty Shades Darker by E L James

21. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

22. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

23. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling

24. The Next Always by Nora Roberts

25. The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

26. Wonder by R. J. Palacio

27. The Martian by Andy Weir

28. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

29. The Racketeer by John Grisham

30. Gray Mountain by John Grisham

31. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

32. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

33. Fifty Shades Freed by E L James

34. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

35. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

36. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

37. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

38. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

39. The Litigators by John Grisham

40. The Giver by Lois Lowry

41. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

42. Camino Island by John Grisham

43. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

44. The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

45. Inferno by Dan Brown

46. The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

47. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

48. Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham

49. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

50. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

How many have you read from this list? Any surprises?

Find these titles and many others on the Libby app, free from your local public library.


About the Author

Annie Suhy has been working in the book industry since 2006. When she’s not working, practicing yoga or petting cats, she’s doing paint-by-numbers or buying more plants. An avid poetry fan, her favorite collection is "The Splinter Factory" by Jeffrey McDaniel.


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