The year’s most popular titles on the Libby reading app, including BookTok sensations, New York Times bestsellers and Libby’s fastest circulating book ever


CLEVELANDDecember 12, 2023 – This year’s list of the most popular books in public libraries was dominated by romance novels and memoirs from three bestselling authors that whisk readers away to other worlds. Based on circulation figures from millions of readers in 18,000 public libraries in North America on the award-winning Libby reading app, Colleen Hoover, Rebecca Yarros and Prince Harry led in multiple categories for the top books borrowed in 2023. Libby provides free access to public libraries’ collections of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines and graphic novels, and was created by OverDrive, the leading digital content platform for libraries and schools worldwide.

As digital book lending continues to flourish in public libraries, these community institutions remain an essential resource for free reading materials through the Libby app. Since 2021, North American public libraries have seen a 55 percent increase in ebook and audiobook checkouts to hundreds of millions in 2023. Audiobooks experienced a significant growth in circulation this year alone, increasing by more than 22 percent, continuing its meteoric rise in popularity over the past decade. Digital magazine checkouts also grew in 2023 by more than 65 percent, due in large part with the expanded selection as well as Libby’s recent one-tap magazine checkout feature.

Here are the 2023 Top Books Borrowed in North American Public Libraries on Libby, organized by genre and format:

Category Ebooks Audiobooks
Fiction Verity by Colleen Hoover Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros
Nonfiction Spare by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex Spare by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
Romance Verity by Colleen Hoover Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros
Mystery & Thriller Verity by Colleen Hoover The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
Science Fiction & Fantasy Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros
Historical Fiction Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
Biography & Memoir Spare by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex Spare by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
YA Fiction Series Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Juvenile Fiction Series Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
“Notify Me” Pre-Release Titles House of Flame and Shadow by Sarah J. Maas Ruthless Vows by Rebecca Ross
“Notify Me” Already-Published Titles Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros
Magazine The New Yorker

Rebecca Yarros enjoyed a wildly successful year, releasing the first two books in the Empyrean series, Fourth Wing and Iron Flame. While Fourth Wing was the #1 book for the year in multiple categories, Iron Flame amassed the most checkouts in the first thirty days after release than any title in Libby history.

While the list above (see full list) represents actual loans of digital books, a new feature in Libby released in 2023 provides insight into readers’ pre-release demand. House of Flame and Shadow by Sarah J. Maas, Ruthless Vows by Rebecca Ross, and Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros led the list of titles that patrons tagged millions of times with the Notify Me feature in Libby. Using these smart tags alerts each reader’s library of their interest, and if the title is purchased, notifies the reader that the book is now part of the library’s digital collection.

The Libby reading app provides readers with access to their local library’s extensive digital collection, including popular ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, cookbooks and more. To get started with Libby, library patrons can download the Libby app and sign in with a valid library card or sign up for one in the app.

Thousands of public libraries across the world also offer Kanopy, leading streaming provider of award-winning film and television.

Readers can view the full list of Libby’s 2023 Top Books Borrowed from North American public libraries.


About OverDrive 

OverDrive is a mission-based company that stands with libraries. Named a Certified B Corp in 2017, OverDrive serves more than 92,000 libraries and schools in 115 countries with the industry’s largest digital catalog of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, video and other content. OverDrive empowers libraries and schools by expanding access for all through tireless industry advocacy and consistent innovation. Award-winning apps and services include the Libby library reading app, the Sora student reading app, Kanopy, the leading video streaming app for libraries and colleges, and, which offers one of the largest catalogs of supplemental materials that enhance literacy outcomes. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, Ohio USA.


David Burleigh

Director of Communications