Turning the page on Google Play Books' first decade
With more time on my hands during this pandemic, I’ve learned that I’m not a gardener (yield from 7 tomato plants--> 2 teeny tomatoes), nor am I a furniture refinisher (but it seemed so straightforward on YouTube!). I am, however, a reader. I’ve indulged more in this lifelong hobby in 2020, finally getting around to books that have been in my Google Play Books library for a long time, and discovering new titles.
This week marks Google’s 10th year as a digital bookstore. On December 6, 2010, we launched Google eBooks in the U.S., so that people could read books on any device and with recommendations tailored to your interests. Since then, our bookstore—now Google Play Books—has expanded to more than 75 countries and our book catalog has grown to nearly 7 million titles.
Over the years, we’ve used Google’s technology to expand our offerings and meet the needs of our readers and publishers. Bubble Zoom makes it easier to read comics on your phone by using machine learning to identify and expand speech bubbles. And, you can now access hundreds of thousands of audiobooks in our store, including a selection of free public domain audiobooks created with our auto-narration technology.
Google Play Books has welcomed publishers of all sizes, becoming an important platform for our tens of thousands of publishing partners to grow their audience worldwide. Google Play Books is a success because of the publishers and book lovers we’ve brought together.
As we look back on the last decade, here’s a list of our top fiction and nonfiction ebooks on Google Play Books each year in the U.S. (I’m proud to report that I’ve read 7 of 11 of the fiction titles!)
Top-selling fiction ebooks
2010: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson
2011: The Help by Kathryn Stockett
2012: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
2013: Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James
2014: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
2015: Grey by E. L. James
2016: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling
2017: It by Stephen King
2018: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
2019: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
- 2020: Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer
Top-selling nonfiction ebooks
2010: Decision Points by George W. Bush
2011: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
2012: Moneyball by Michael Lewis
2013: Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey
2014: Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell
2015: American Sniper by Chris Kyle, Scott McEwen, and Jim DeFelice
2016: 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse by JJ Smith
2017: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
2018: Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff
2019: Becoming by Michelle Obama
2020: A Promised Land by Barack Obama
Books are more than just sources of information; they offer us connection, comfort, inspiration and joy—especially this year. As we recognize our tenth anniversary of Google’s digital bookstore, we’re thankful for all the bibliophiles who have made Google Play Books the hub of their reading life.