The year is drawing to a close, allowing many of us to take some time to look back in retrospect. Following the likes of Spotify, Scribd had decided to review the highlights of the year and present them in the form of 2021’s top reading trends. Following the rise of the #BookTok trend on social media platform TikTok, there was a significant impact on the reading habits of young folks.
As depicted in the bar chart shared by Scribd, you can clearly see the increase in titles read. The books that gained popularity were promoted through the BookTok campaign, proving the effectiveness of the trend. Starting from the last quarter of 2020, the promoted books saw a quarter-over-quarter growth.
Scribd mentioned three works in particular that saw a noteworthy spike in the readers’ interests. First, the most successful of the three was It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover. This contemporary romance novel won the position of the best romance novel of the year in the Goodreads Choice Awards back in 2016. In the second quarter of 2021, Colleen Hoover’s romance title saw YoY growth of 141%.
Next, the historical fiction title The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller saw a consistent increase in demand. The number of readers jumped up by 69% in the last quarter of 2020, and this upwards trajectory continued throughout 2021 with a slight decline in the increase towards the end. Lastly, the contemporary novel The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid saw consistent YoY growth in popularity, with around 40% increased readers every quarter.
Scribd continued to shed light on the reading trends of the year by pointing out the readers’ increased interest in books that have been adapted into movies and TV shows. The most popular books in this category were Bridgerton by Julia Quinn, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, The Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis, and Nomadland by Jessica Bruder. The said titles gained the most traction around the time when their cinematic adaptations were released.
Audiobooks were especially popular, being the leading reason for the increased consumption of books across several states in the U.S. Idaho, Wyoming, and Vermont ranked at the top of all readers on Scribd. Meanwhile, New York, New Jersey, and D.C. lagged behind and consumed the least amount of books overall. There was a shift in the genres of books read by the people of the U.S. as well. You can see the most popular genres according to the states that favor them depicted in the diagram below.
Finally, Scribd disclosed the juiciest information for this year’s reading trends. The most read titles of 2021 on Scribd are listed below, listed according to their rankings. Be sure to add them to your to-read list on your e-readers if you feel interested!
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
We hope you enjoyed browsing through the most popular books and genres on Scribd. Do you see a familiar title? If you feel like Scribd missed out on some excellent books, share your thoughts in the comments below!
Namerah is a Technology Journalist with experience in leading online publications like Android Central and XDA Developers. She has a passion for all things tech & gaming and has been an honorary Goodreads librarian since 2011. When she isn’t writing, she can be found chasing stray cats and dogs in the streets of Dhaka or slaying dragons in the land of Skyrim.