Tired of spending hundreds on ebooks?
Wish there was a way you could download and read ebooks for free (and legally)?
Well, there is…
OverDrive app combined with your public library!
Yes, the same local library you used to borrow books from when you were a kid!
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According to the American Library Association, more than 90% of public libraries these days carry digital books members can borrow.
You can download and read hundreds of thousands of titles for free.
Now, the problem for most of us, especially for the not so tech-savvy among us, is that it’s not easy to find and download them.
Fortunately, OverDrive is here to help.
What is OverDrive?
Overdrive is a free, simple, user-friendly app that lets you browse and download digital titles from your public library instantly.
With accounts with 33,000 libraries, Overdrive has amassed over 2 million ebooks, audiobooks, and videos.
Yes, with OverDrive, not only you can borrow free ebooks and audiobooks, you can also watch thousands of movies and videos for free.
Great for students (works with your student ID) or the general public, Overdrive could save you hundreds and even thousands on books.
The people behind it have also created an extension known as Libby App which I covered here.
How to get started with OverDrive
Here’s how you can get started in a few simple steps:
- Step 1: Install the app.
- Step 2: Find your library.
- Step 3: Enter your library card or student ID number.
- Step 4: Borrow titles.
- Step 5: Enjoy!
Here is a bit more detail about each step:
Install the app: Visit OverDrive’s app page and install the appropriate app for your device and operating system (available for Android, Chromebooks, iOS, Fire tablets, or Windows 8/10).
Find your library: Open the app and find your local library from the database. You can search by name of the library, zip code or city. Once you find it, click on it to open their digital collection.
Enter your card number: Once you have selected your location you will be prompted to enter your library card number. This process is the same if you are using a student ID rather than a library card.
Borrow titles: You can browse and search titles in your library’s digital collection to find what you are looking for. Once you find it, click on the “borrow” tab. The app will automatically download the title to your OverDrive account instantly so you can read it anywhere and anytime.
Enjoy: You can then enjoy the downloaded material either immediately online or by saving them for offline use later.
What’s great about the app is that it lets you send any borrowed title to your Kindle device if you prefer reading or listening on your Kindle device.
And that’s not all…
…you can even transfer titles from your computer to compatible eReaders or MP3 players.
And since this is all free, you will never have to enter any financial or credit card information.
What makes OverDrive a great app for getting free books from your library
Besides the obvious fact that you can access and borrow hundreds of thousands of digital books from your library without ever setting foot in it, there are many other great features that make this app even better.
Some of the main features include:
- You can create your own library and preferences which will make searching for books easier for you and can possibly find titles you would not generally read that you might love.
- The app also saves your searches and saves preferences to help you find great titles later.
- Once you decide to borrow a title, it will appear in your library automatically. Titles will also be removed automatically after the borrow period has ended.
- Another great benefit is the ability to make your books into Adobe Digital Editions (ADE). This means you will be able to transfer your titles to your eReaders, tablets, or MP3 players. All that is needed for this benefit is a download of the ADE software and to log in either with an Adobe password or with your Overdrive account information.
- Slow or fast listener? You can easily change the speed of the audiobook reading with a simple tap or click of a button.
- You can also bookmark pages and even take notes within the app as you read or listen.
- Searching and finding titles you want can’t get any easier than it is with this app. You can search by title, author, genre, published date, or even length.
One of the best features of the app is something called OverDrive Listen.
According to the company, “OD Listen is a streaming audiobook player that works on computers, tablets, and mobile devices with compatible web browsers.”
It makes it easy to listen to audiobooks you download through the app. And you can use it with almost any title.
Read is similar to Listen but of course, it is for reading ebooks. Downloading it will make it easier to access your rented books. This is a program similar to Adobe but is more geared towards ebooks. With Read, you can also bookmark, look up words, add notes, highlight certain areas, and change the font and size of words to make it easier for you to read. This is great for students who need to take notes or remember certain parts of texts.
The best thing about Read and Listen is that even if you have to return the book, your preferences and bookmarks will be saved. In other words, all your notes, bookmarks and preferences will be there if you decide to borrow the same titles later to either finish it or re-read it again.
OverDrive reviews by other users
The general consensus is the app is the best one of its kind and that it saves readers/listeners hundreds and thousands of dollars every year.
There are a couple of things that a lot of people, especially on Reddit and GoodReads, wish were different, though most are things that the app has no control over.
For example, even though there are a ton of options available, your exact selection may not be available through your library. But there is still a better chance of finding something close to it using Overdrive rather than driving to your library.
Another problem, especially for the less tech-savvy among us is that it can be somewhat of a pain to figure out exactly which file type your device supports. The good news is that using Read and Listen, as well as the Libby App, can help with these problems.
Just like at any library, items borrowed must be returned. Since Overdrive will not charge you an overage fee, they take the item away from you on the due date. If you wish to get the item back, all you have to do is reborrow it using Overdrive.
Overall, the pros of this app overshadow the very few issues you may face.
Is it worth it?
If you read ebooks and want an easy and free way to download ebooks from your public library, this is a must-have app.
It really is a great way for readers to find books and audio files easily and quickly.
Not only you can download and read to titles anytime and from anywhere in the world, you also save hundreds of dollars on ebooks.
Please comment below and let us know what you think about OverDrive app and whether or not you’ll be using it to borrow ebooks (and audiobooks & movies) from your local library.