The best e-books, audiobooks and digital magazines on loan from UK public libraries in 2021



The increasing demand for digital content resulted in a record spending of the library in the Libby reading app

LONDON, December 1, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Nearly two years after the pandemic surge in digital content usage, the demand for digital materials remains high. Over the past year, UK library authorities have met the needs of their communities with record spending on digital titles. The lists of the most popular e-books, audiobooks and digital magazines of 2021 downloaded by UK library authorities through their services were published today by OverDrive, the creator of the award-winning Libby reading app.

OverDrive currently provides access to more than 3,000 libraries across the country through e-books, audiobooks, digital magazines, and digital newspapers – almost a ten-fold since November 2019. Library users with a valid library card and the Libby Reading app can borrow and read their local library’s digital media on any device 24/7.

“The staff who operate public libraries have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to adapt their services to the changing needs of their community, and we are proud to have helped ensure that they offer so much of what the Borrowers want, “said Nick Forster, Regional Manager for OverDrive. “Many people first discovered the digital collections of their libraries during the lockdown – and we see that their use of online services continues to increase even after the library branches have reopened.”

In addition to e-books and audiobooks, thousands of UK libraries now offer more than 3,000 popular digital magazines that can be borrowed and read anytime in Libby (top titles below). Additionally, thousands of libraries also offer digital newspapers through the Libby app, including The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express, The Scotsman, and more.

Top 10 digital magazines from UK public libraries in 2021

  1. Radio times
  2. The economist
  3. HELLO!
  4. New scientist
  5. Good household
  6. BBC Good Food Magazine
  7. Women’s week
  8. Auto-Express
  9. Computer active
  10. Mrs

Top 10 e-books from UK public libraries in 2021

  1. The Thursday Murder Club from Richard Osman
  2. The midnight library from Matt Haig
  3. Klara and the sun from Kazuo Ishiguro
  4. The Secret, Book & Scone Society from Ellery Adams
  5. Shuggie Bain from Douglas Stuart
  6. The guard from Lee child
  7. The darkest evening from Ann Cleeves
  8. Five total strangers from Natalie D. Richards
  9. adult from Marian Keyes
  10. Bridgerton Collection, Volume 1 from Julia Quinn

Top 10 Audiobooks from UK Public Libraries in 2021

  1. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
  2. Cold sadness from Brenda Chapman
  3. A song for the dark times from Ian Rankin
  4. Will from Michelle Obama
  5. Klara and the sun from Kazuo Ishiguro
  6. The coffin maker’s garden from Stuart MacBride
  7. myth from Stephen Fry
  8. Butterfly kills from Brenda Chapman
  9. adult from Marian Keyes
  10. Still life from Val McDermid

OverDrive has served UK libraries since 2005 and has a dedicated team in the UK. As a global company serving over 73,000 libraries and schools in 88 countries, OverDrive also sponsored the Libraries Connected Awards in 2021.

UK readers can borrow e-books, audiobooks, digital magazines, digital newspapers and more from their local library by downloading the Libby app from the App Store or Google Play. For more information and to get started, visit

About OverDrive
OverDrive strives to create “A World Enlightened by Reading”. Serving a growing network of 73,000 libraries and schools in 88 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 mechanics20 best apps of the decade while the student reading app Sora is one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2019. OverDrive was recently acquired Canopy, the leading streaming video service for public libraries and academic institutions. OverDrive was founded in 1986 and is based in Cleveland, Ohio USA and was certified as a Certified B Corp in 2017.

Nick Forster
Regional Manager, EMEA Global Libraries and Education
[email protected]

David Burleigh
Brand & Communication Director
[email protected]

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SOURCE OverDrive



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