The Books We Loved Best in 2021

Last week, the Digital Library News blog covered 2021's top ten most circulated items on Hoopla, Freegal, Kanopy, and Universal Class - the most popular on demand, no-wait electronic resources available from Fulton County Library System.

If you subscribe to the New Books Newsletter, then you've already seen the list of books our staff recommends as great reads you might have missed in 2021. But what were the most popular downloadable books on our most popular electronic resource? The ten eBooks and ten eAudiobooks listed below had checkouts in the hundreds, but many still have wait lists. Due to the wait times, we usually don't publish these lists. However, given the high rate of success of eBook and eAudiobook circulation this year, we thought our patrons might want to celebrate with us. 

Below you'll see the titles, the number of copies, the number of circulations, and the current hold ratio of the most popular downloadable books and audiobooks of the past year. Holds ratio can be interpreted as number of holds to number of copies; so a holds ratio of 1:4 means that for every one copy of an eBook licensed for download, four patrons are waiting. Some titles have been made always available by Overdrive as a gift to subscribing libraries. Other titles may be instantly available for a certain number of licenses. As we are early into what may become the century of eBooks, the distribution, costs, and licensing around downloadable media is constantly evolving.

Looking at this list, you may wonder why the holds ratio for some titles is higher than others. The answer is simple: some books simply cost more than others. While the average eBook price for a single license to a single consumer might hover around just ten dollars, the average cost of an eBook license for a library is around sixty-five dollars, and often that license must be renewed every 24 months or 54 checkouts. So if you see a title with a holds ratio that seems a little higher than you think it should be, know that the book is likely higher than average in cost - and that we're working hard at the library to provide the most content for your tax dollar at all times.

The best way patrons can help lower wait times and hold ratios is to return a checked out work as soon as they have finished. The great thing about eResources is that they are never overdue, as the system automatically pulls them back for the next patron in line, and they are often returned before the loan time is up, causing them to circulate much more quickly than physical materials. Enjoy this list - and add these titles to your holds shelf if you missed them in 2021!

2021 Most Popular eBooks on Overdrive and the Libby App

1. The Four Winds: A Novel (53 copies) - checked out 845 times between February 2nd and December 15th 2021. Current holds ratio: 1:4.

2. The Last Thing He Told Me: A Novel (60 copies) - checked out 499 times between May 4th and December 15th 2021. Current holds ratio: 1:8.

3. The Quiet Girl (5 copies) - checked out 440 times between between January 1st and December 15th 2021. Current holds ratio: 1:4. This title was temporarily made always available in the Overdrive system as part of The Big Read, a quarterly online book club.

4. The Bestseller (Always Available) - checked out 439 times between January 1st and December 15th 2021. No holds ratio, as this title has been made always available by Overdrive.

5. The Art of Taking It Easy: How to Cope with Bears, Traffic, and the Rest of Life's Stressors (3 copies) - checked out 345 times between January 1st and December 15th 2021. This title was temporarily made always available in the Overdrive system as part of The Big Read, a quarterly online book club.

6. Malibu Rising: A Novel (55 copies) - checked out 305 times between June 1st and December 15th 2021. Current holds ratio: 1:6.

7. People We Meet on Vacation (50 copies) - checked out 290 times between May 11th and December 15th 2021. Current holds ratio: 1:7.

8. The Push: A Novel (15 copies) - checked out 275 times between January 5th and December 15th 2021. Current holds ratio: 1:4. This title was temporarily made always available in the Overdrive system as part of The Big Read, a quarterly online book club.

9. Project Hail Mary: A Novel (35 copies) - checked out 273 times between January 5th and December 15th 2021. Current holds ratio: 1:7.

10. The Rose Code: A Novel (25 copies) - checked out 229 times between March 9th and December 15th 2021. Current holds ratio: 1:8.

2021 Most Popular eAudiobooks on Overdrive and the Libby App

1. Cold Mourning: Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery Series, Book 1 (Always Available) - checked out 770 times between January 1st and December 15th 2021. No holds ratio, as this title has been made always available by Overdrive.

2. The Viscount Who Loved Me: Bridgerton Series, Book 2 (Instantly Available) - checked out 539 times between January 1st and December 15th 2021. No holds ratio, as this title has been made instantly available by Overdrive.

3. The Four Winds: A Novel (35 copies) - checked out 536 times between May 11th and December 15th 2021. Current holds ratio: 1:6.

4. An Offer from a Gentleman: Bridgerton Series, Book 3 (Instantly Available) - checked out 470 times between January 1st and December 15th 2021. No holds ratio, as this title has been made instantly available by Overdrive.

5. Romancing Mister Bridgerton: Bridgerton Series, Book 4 (Instantly Available) - checked out 465 times between January 1st and December 15th 2021. No holds ratio, as this title has been made instantly available by Overdrive.

6. To Sir Phillip, with Love: Bridgerton Series, Book 5 (Instantly Available) - checked out 370 times between January 1st and December 15th 2021. No holds ratio, as this title has been made instantly available by Overdrive.

7. The Last Thing He Told Me: A Novel (40 copies) - checked out 349 times between May 11th and December 15th 2021. Current holds ratio: 1:8.

8. Butterfly Kills: Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery Series, Book 2 (Always Available) - checked out 340 times between January 1st and December 15th 2021. No holds ratio, as this title has been made always available by Overdrive.

9. When He Was Wicked: Bridgerton Series, Book 6 (Instantly Available) - checked out 295 times between January 1st and December 15th 2021. No holds ratio, as this title has been made instantly available by Overdrive.

10. The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation (Instantly Available) - checked out 269 times between January 1st and December 15th 2021. No holds ratio, as this title has been made instantly available by Overdrive.

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