Toronto Readers Borrowed More Ebooks Than Anyone in 2018

January 17, 2019 | Wendy B.

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A woman sitting on a couch reading on a tablet.

Here's a bold hypothesis: Toronto has the most voracious readers in the world.

Does that sound like we're bragging? Consider the numbers: we borrowed 5.6 million ebooks and eaudiobooks in 2018 – more than any other library users, anywhere. 

According to a press release from Rakuten OverDrive, Toronto was one of only two library systems that circulated more than 5 million ebooks last year. (The other system covers the entire state of Wisconsin.) 

We read a lot of print, too. In 2017,  Torontonians borrowed over 24 million physical items (such as books and DVDs). That's more per capita than any North American library system serving a comparable population. 

Our last ebook landmark came in August, when Toronto became the first city in the world to have borrowed over 20 million ebooks

And yet, in spite of our enormous appetite for books, there are certain important titles that aren't available to library users in an ebook format. Canadian public libraries are currently running a national campaign to raise awareness of this important issue. Imagine how much we would read if we could access every title we wanted!

Here's a look at the most-borrowed ebooks for the first two weeks of January, 2019:


Educated, by Tara Westover  (ebook) – 4,425 downloads in two weeks.

(Not available as an eaudiobook)


The Life-Changing Magic

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo (eaudiobook) – 1,482 downloads in two weeks.


You Are A Badass

You Are a Badass, by Jen Sincero (eaudiobook) – 507 downloads in two weeks.


The Wife

The Wife, by Meg Wolitzer (eaudiobook) – 443 downloads in two weeks.


Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

Washington Black, by Esi Edugyan (ebook) – 400 downloads in two weeks.

Did you contribute to Toronto's high ebook-borrowing numbers last year? Let us know in the comments!