Mac, iPad, and iPhone owners are reading these books in their droves, and there are some surprises

Apple Books on iPhone and iPad
(Image credit: Apple)

With the Amazon Kindle being the go-to eBook reader for most people and the Kindle store being the place to get those eBooks, you'd be forgiven for forgetting that Apple has its own option. For those who'd prefer to read on an iPad, Mac, or iPhone the Apple Books app and accompanying store might be a better option — ignoring for a moment the fact that you can download the Kindle app on all three of those devices.

But while many of us are all-in on Kindle, it seems that plenty of others are using Apple Books as their destination for a good story, as well they should. It's a well-designed app that looks great and works well, and with all of the best books available, there's little reason not to go the Apple Books route unless you like reading on a Kindle and its E Ink display. I do, so Apple Books is a no-go for me, but I'm not everyone and plenty of people are more than happy to read on their iPad mini, for example.

To that end, Apple has shared a list of the most popular books across a few different categories including audiobooks — because yes, Apple Books has audiobooks as well. What's more, just like Apple Music Replay 2023, Apple Books now has a year-in-review option for those who wondered just how many books they'd read and how many minutes they spent doing it.

This year's Year in Review is available on the iPhone and iPad and can be found in the Read Now tab under Top Picks. Note that you'll need to have marked at least three books as finished for it to appear, though.

There, you'll find information about the books you've read or listened to through 2023 including personalized reading highlights. Apple will also tell you what reader type you are. The press release explaining this says that "there are six reader types to discover, including The Contemporary for readers of trendy titles; The Completist for readers of multiple books in a series; The Seeker for nonfiction readers; The Wanderer for multigenre readers; The Deep Diver for single-genre readers; or The Free Spirit for readers with wide-ranging interests across the book world." There is sure to be some interesting information in there, that's for sure.

As for the most popular books, Apple says that the top five most popular nonfiction books of the year include, in this order:

  1. Spare by Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex
  2. The Woman in Me by Britney Spears
  3. The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder by David Grann
  4. Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity by Peter Attia and Bill Gifford
  5. Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson

As for the fiction books, author Rebecca Yarros has had a particularly good year, taking the top two spots.

The full top-five reads:

  1. Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros
  2. Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros
  3. Happy Place by Emily Henry
  4. Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano
  5. The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese

Apple's list of the most popular audiobooks is where things get interesting, because you might have expected it to mirror the book situation more closely than it does. Some books do make a second appearance, but not all and there are some newcomers, too.

Starting with nonfiction audiobooks, we have the following table.

  1. The Woman in Me by Britney Spears
  2. Spare by Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex
  3. Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity by Peter Attia and Bill Gifford
  4. The Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin
  5. Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson

Finally, we're on to the most popular fiction audiobooks including the same Rebecca Yarros books but in new spots on the leaderboard.

We have a new winner, too, with Jack Carr taking the top spot.

  1. Only the Dead by Jack Carr
  2. Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros
  3. Tom Lake by Ann Patchett
  4. Happy Place by Emily Henry
  5. Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros

Interesting reading

Kindle Oasis

(Image credit: Amazon)

What does all of this tell us? Not a lot, probably, but those on the hunt for a new book or audiobook now have a number of ideas for their next read (or listen) and that's never a bad thing, is it?

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.