I was updating my wife’s Kobo Reader today to get the software fixed (2 tries and over two hours both times – but finally fixed). The good news is that that the helpline staff were helpful and never seemed to run out of suggestions to get it working again. The best news is that they offered – without me prompting – that one of the solutions (and the one that worked) would make it easier to download books for free from the library. W00t!
Anyway, this press release from Overdrive today gives an indication of the growth many libraries are experiencing in eBook circulation and I don’t believe that there’s any reason to think it won’t increase exponentially in 2011.
eBook Checkouts at Libraries Up 200 Percent in 2010
‘Eat, Pray, Love’ and ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ top eBook and audiobook download charts
“(San Diego, CA – American Library Association Midwinter Conference) – January 6, 2011 – Libraries and schools worldwide were at the forefront of the eBook boom in 2010, as patrons and students downloaded millions of digital books for iPhone®, Android™, Sony® Reader, NOOK™, and personal computers. More than one million new users signed on to access free eBooks, audiobooks, and more from ‘Virtual Branch’ websites last year, resulting in a 200 percent increase in eBook checkouts and a 52 percent increase in audiobook checkouts over 2009. To find eBooks, audiobooks, music, and video titles from a library near you, visit http://search.overdrive.com.
Key statistics for library eBooks, audiobooks, and more from OverDrive-powered digital catalogs include:
• 718 million book and title catalog pages viewed
• 15 million digital titles checked out
• 6.6 billion minutes of spoken word audio downloaded
• 400,000 copyrighted eBook, audiobook, music, and video titles available to libraries
Library users are able to download eBooks over the air directly to their iPhone®, iPod touch®, and Android™ tablet or phone, in addition to downloads for PC, Mac®, and popular eBook readers. The free OverDrive Media Console apps launched with EPUB eBook support in December 2010 and helped drive new records for library mobile checkouts. OverDrive will release an optimized iPad™ app with eBook support, as well as BlackBerry®, with other platforms in development.
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” was the most downloaded adult fiction eBook and audiobook of the year, as Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy enthralled library customers in 2010. On the adult nonfiction side, Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love” topped the eBook and audiobook charts. Titles from Kathryn Stockett, Malcolm Gladwell, and Chelsea Handler were also among the most downloaded books from the library in 2010.
The top five titles in each adult category include:
Most Downloaded Adult Fiction eBooks from the Library (2010)
1. “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” Stieg Larsson, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
2. “The Help,” Kathryn Stockett, Penguin USA, Inc.
3. “The Girl Who Played with Fire,” Stieg Larsson, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
4. “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest,” Stieg Larsson, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
5. “The Lost Symbol,” Dan Brown, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Most Downloaded Adult Nonfiction eBooks from the Library (2010)
1. “Eat, Pray, Love,” Elizabeth Gilbert, Penguin Group USA, Inc.
2. “Sh*t My Dad Says,” Justin Halpern, HarperCollins
3. “Outliers,” Malcolm Gladwell, Little, Brown and Company
4. “SuperFreakonomics,” Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner, HarperCollins
5. “Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang,” Chelsea Handler, Grand Central Publishing
Most Downloaded Adult Fiction Audiobooks from the Library (2010)
1. “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” Stieg Larsson, Books on Tape
2. “The Help,” Kathryn Stockett, Books on Tape
3. “The Girl Who Played with Fire,” Stieg Larsson, Books on Tape
4. “The Lost Symbol,” Dan Brown, Books on Tape
5. “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest,” Stieg Larsson, Books on Tape
Most Downloaded Adult Nonfiction Audiobooks from the Library (2010)
1. “Eat, Pray, Love,” Elizabeth Gilbert, Books on Tape
2. “Blink,” Malcolm Gladwell, Hachette Audio
3. “Outliers,” Malcolm Gladwell, Hachette Audio
4. “Three Cups of Tea,” Greg Mortenson, Tantor Media
5. “The Tipping Point,” Malcolm Gladwell, Hachette Audio”