Tennessee R.E.A.D.S. Hits Record-Breaking Five Million Checkouts in 2021


The Tennessee Regional eBook and Audiobook Download System (R.E.A.D.S.) announced today that it reached a record-breaking five million digital ebook, audiobook, magazine and video checkouts in 2021.

Since it launched in 2007, Tennessee R.E.A.D.S usage has grown every year. Last year, 121 public library systems surpassed one million checkouts worldwide. Of those, R.E.A.D.S. was the fifth-highest library system for total digital circulation.

Tennessee R.E.A.D.S. is a free service available through local public libraries across the state that are part of the Tennessee Regional Library System. The Regional Library System is part of the Tennessee State Library & Archives, a division of the Department of State.

Tennessee R.E.A.D.S. is supported by state and federal funds. In 2020, Governor Bill Lee and the Tennessee General Assembly provided additional funding, increasing R.E.A.D.S.'s overall budget by 12.5%. This funding was used to expand R.E.A.D.S. online catalog.

"We want to thank Governor Lee and the members of the General Assembly for helping us provide free access to entertaining and educational online resources for Tennesseans," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "We are proud to hit the five million checkout milestone and see the popularity of the R.E.A.D.S. program continue to grow."

Last year’s record-breaking number of checkouts was driven by the 13 Tennessee libraries with over one hundred thousand checkouts through Tennessee R.E.A.D.S.

Regional Library System branches with more than 100,000 Tennessee R.E.A.D.S. checkouts in 2021:

  • Williamson County Public Library – 269,845
  • Linebaugh Public Library – 264,929
  • Blount County Public Library – 221,728
  • Clarksville-Montgomery County Public Library – 179,860
  • Johnson City Public Library – 159,810
  • John P. Holt Brentwood Library – 143,761
  • Kingsport Public Library and Archives – 143,279
  • Cleveland Bradley County Public Library – 133,939
  • Art Circle Public Library – 116,611
  • Hendersonville Public Library – 112,517
  • Germantown Community Library – 111,971
  • Putnam County Library – 109,376
  • Spring Hill Public Library - 105,971

Tennessee R.E.A.D.S. features a vast catalog of more than 275,000 copies of fiction and nonfiction titles, including mystery, biography & autobiography, fantasy, children, young adult, magazines, videos and more. In 2021, R.E.A.D.S.’s top-circulating genre was romance. New and popular titles are added every month.

Last year the highest-circulating ebook title was The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah the highest-circulating nonfiction ebook title was Nomadland by Jessica Bruder. The highest-circulating fiction and nonfiction audiobooks last year were Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey, respectively.

The top 5 ebook titles borrowed through Tennessee R.E.A.D.S. in 2021:

  1. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
  2. A Time for Mercy by John Grisham
  3. Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks
  4. The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
  5. Nomadland by Jessica Bruder

The top 5 audiobook titles borrowed through Tennessee R.E.A.D.S. in 2021:

  1. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  2. Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
  3. Cold Mourning by Brenda Chapman
  4. The Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis
  5. Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

Through the award-winning Libby app, Tennesseans can access the R.E.A.D.S. collection at any time with an active library card from any public library in the Regional Library System or by using their phone number.

In the Libby app users can browse the extensive R.E.A.D.S. catalog of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines and other digital media, instantly borrow titles and start reading, listening or watching for free. Digital content can be downloaded or streamed to any personal computer, smartphone, tablet or e-reader. Titles automatically expire at the end of the lending period with no late fees.

To learn more or to start using Tennessee R.E.A.D.S., visit reads.overdrive.com or download the free Libby app in the App Store or Google Play.