Londoners can enjoy Ayisha Malik’s “Sofia Khan is Not Obliged” ebook for free through the award-winning Libby reading app


LONDON – 7 May, 2019 – This month, Cityread London readers can go digital with library ebooks during the eighth annual month-long celebration of reading. Public library users can enjoy the romantic comedy Sofia Khan is Not Obliged, the debut novel from critically acclaimed British author Ayisha Malik, as an ebook with no waitlists or holds from 1-31 May through participating library authorities. Readers may access the ebook for free with a valid library card by visiting a participating library authority’s website (list of participating libraries below) or downloading Libby, named one of TIME’s Best iPhone and Android Apps.

New this yearno library card, no problem! Readers can receive an Instant Digital Card from participating local library authorities for free in less than 30 seconds. By downloading the Libby app and providing their name and mobile phone number, users can access their local library’s entire collection of ebooks and audiobooks straightaway. Participating libraries include Barking and Dagenham, Brent, Bromley, Ealing, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Harrow, Havering, Kingston, Lewisham, Luton, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond upon Thames, Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Wandsworth. Other libraries offering ebooks through Libby include Barnet, Bexley, Camden and Haringey.

“Being able to offer unlimited access to the chosen book via the Libby app makes it simple for staff to promote Cityread and easy for users to join in,” said Julie Hall, Service Development Manager, London Borough of Lewisham. “The last 3 years we’ve been doing this have seen a substantial ‘bump’ in new eLibrary users following each Cityread month and a sustained increase in loans.”

“The accessibility and simplicity of the Libby app has enabled more people each year to read the ebook through their local library service and really engage in the special events and activities that are run as part of the month-long festival,” added Daniel Andrews, GLL Libraries Partnership Manager, London Borough of Wandsworth.

Rakuten OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for 43,000 libraries and schools worldwide and creator of the Libby app, has sponsored Cityread London since 2014. OverDrive provides support for the annual festival by digitally connecting readers in London with an ebook through public libraries.

Billed as the Muslim Bridget Jones, Sofia Khan is Not Obliged is the hilarious romantic comedy from the writer behind Nadiya Hussain’s bestselling The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters. Cityread London is a free program that helps Londoners discover and celebrate their city through its stories. It runs for one month and only requires a library card to get started. Sofia Khan is Not Obliged is published by Bonnier and can be read on all major computers and devices, including iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phones and tablets and Chromebook™ without waitlists or holds. The title will automatically expire at the end of the lending period, and there are no late fees.

To get started, download Libby from the app store (iOS®, Android™, Windows®) or visit


About Cityread London:

Cityread London is a registered charity that promotes the key ideas of reading for pleasure, engaging new library users, enhancing the experience of existing readers, and encouraging people to explore and celebrate London’s culture, landscape and history through its stories. Cityread works in partnership with library services in 24 London boroughs plus Slough and Luton. Founded in 2012 it has featured: Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (Penguin), 2012; A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks (Vintage), 2013; My Dear I Wanted to Tell You by Louisa Young (Borough Press), 2014; Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (Gollancz) 2015; Ten Days by Gillian Slovo (Canongate) 2016; Prophecy by S.J. Parris (HarperCollins) 2017; The Muse by Jessie Burton (Picador) 2018.

About Rakuten OverDrive

Rakuten OverDrive is the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools worldwide. We are dedicated to “a world enlightened by reading” by delivering the industry’s largest catalog of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines and other digital media to a growing network of 43,000 libraries and schools in 76 countries. Named one of TIME’s Best iPhone and Android Apps of 2018, Libby is the “one-tap reading app” for libraries. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, Ohio USA and owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten.


Paul Davighi

UK Country Manager

David Burleigh
Director of Brand & Marketing Communications