What OverDrive Is Telling Us About the State of American Culture

OverDrive provides digital access to the books in America’s libraries.  Here’s how Wikipedia describes them:

OverDrive, Inc. is an American digital distributor of eBooks, audiobooks, music, and video titles. The company provides secure management, digital rights management and download fulfillment services for publishers, libraries, schools, and retailers.  OverDrive’s catalog includes more than 2 million digital titles from more than 5,000 publishers.  The company’s global network includes more than 27,000 libraries and schools.  OverDrive was founded in 1986 and is located in Cleveland, Ohio.

If your local public library provides digital book services, and it probably does, there’s a good chance it uses OverDrive to provide them.  Therefore, its safe to say that OverDrive would be a reliable indicator of what’s popular reading in America’s libraries these days.

This morning I received my weekly e-mail update from OverDrive.  At the very top it announced:

OverDrive Recommends

The title of the first article beneath that headline reads:

Grey matter – get into the mind of Christian Grey

Immediately following were these sentences:

See the world of Fifty Shades of Grey anew through the eyes of Christian Grey.

In Christian’s own words, and through his thoughts, reflections, and dreams, E L James offers a fresh perspective on the love story that has enthralled millions of readers around the world.

The e-mail then went on to recommend other books.

If Fifty Shades of Grey is the top recommendation of America’s libraries, what does this say about America?

Let us pray.

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