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What Chicago is reading while staying at home

These are the most-borrowed e-books from the Chicago Public Library so far during the stay-at-home order.

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“The Testaments” by Margaret Atwood is one of the top e-books Chicagoans have checked out from the Chicago Public Library.
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The Chicago Public Library has seen record e-book usage during the first weeks of the Illinois stay-at-home order: between March 15 and April 22, e-book use increased 51% over the same period in 2019.

So what are Chicagoans reading while staying at home? According to a list the Sun-Times obtained from the city library system, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone reigns supreme: it was the number one e-book checked out from the public library in the past six weeks.

Readers can find links to multiple e-book suppliers on the library’s website. Any Chicago Public Library cardholder can check out an e-book by creating a free online account. Just like regular library books, though, some e-books only have a finite amount of copies available for use.

The standard loan period for e-books is three weeks, but some titles can be renewed. According to the library website, e-books are returned automatically and no late fees are charged.

Here’s the full list of the top reads at the Chicago Public Library:

  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Harry Potter Series, Book 1 (unabridged) by JK Rowling
  2. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
  3. Becoming by Michelle Obama
  4. Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic: A Comedian’s Guide to Life on the Spectrum by Michael McCreary
  5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Harry Potter Series, Book 1 by JK Rowling
  6. Crazy Rich Asians: Crazy Rich Asians Series, Book 1 by Kevin Kwan
  7. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  8. Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
  9. Nine Perfect Strangers: A Novel by Liane Moriarty
  10. Little Fires Everywhere: A Novel by Celeste Ng
  11. Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
  12. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
  13. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson
  14. The Underground Railroad: A Novel by Colson Whitehead
  15. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life (unabridged) by Jen Sincero
  16. Little Women: Little Women Series, Book 1 (unabridged) by Lousia May Alcott
  17. Little Women: Little Women Series, Book 1 by Lousia May Alcott
  18. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
  19. The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  20. The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store (unabridged) by Cait Flanders

Mitch Dudek contributed to this report.