Free e-book downloads at your local library

January 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Education, Entertainment 

I know a lot of people have gotten some form of e-reader for Christmas.    So I thought I’d re-post this article I did for Green Bay Consumer last year since many of you have entered the Kindle or Nook world.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to downloading books. I frequently download the Kindle Daily Deal because of the excellent prices.

But let’s face it, the choices are overwhelming.  If you’re looking to save money on downloads, many libraries across the nation are using Overdrive which allows patrons to “borrow” e-books through their local library.

Since I am not an expert on the subject, I thought I’d bring you someone who is. So I called upon my good friend Terra, who has been a librarian for the past 13 years.

————————————————————

Do you already have an e-book reader? Did  you get a Kindle , nook or iPad for Christmas? Do you think you can’t afford to buy books to read on an e-book reader or portable device?

When I first bought my iPad I was thrilled with all the free e-books I found out there on Amazon.comBarnes and Noble, and the Gutenberg Project, but then I started to want more selection. Sure I liked the classics and the oddball freebies, but I wanted more. That’s when I started using Overdrive.

What is Overdrive and how can it save you money?

Overdrive is an e-book lending service you can access through your local library.  All you need to borrow e-books for free is your library card and an internet connection.

Overdrive offers a multitude of choices, Fiction and nonfiction for adults, teens and children in both e-book and audio formats. Authors include James Patterson and Stuart Woods, Erin Hunter and Dr. Seuss, Laura Hillenbrand and Carol Burnett.

You can browse the collection by genre, or make more specific searches, even limiting your search to those things that are available right THIS MINUTE! (I have a hard time waiting; just call me Instant Gratification Girl.)

You can borrow digital audio books or e-books. You can now checkout up to 10 items and place up to 10 holds. You can also choose to checkout ebooks (not audio) for up to 21 days and you can create a really long wish list. A huge plus, and money saver, of using this free service is that you can’t possibly accrue overdue fines. When your item’s lending period is up the item is automatically ‘checked in’.

How do you access it?

Access Overdrive through your local library’s website. In this case, http://www.madisonpubliclibrary.org/ebooks

To get started, check the list of compatible devices. The biggies, Apple products, Kindles and nooks are all compatible, but many other devices are as well. Once you have determined whether your device is compatible you’ll need to download software, just once, to your computer.

Now you’re ready to login using your library card and PIN. Once you are logged in you can start checking things out.

Now the catch is, Overdrive is so awesome that everyone is using it…which means popular items are checked out. BUT you can place holds on books you’d like to read or listen to just like you would for a book in print only you don’t have to leave the house, or even your bed.

Now grab a latte, sit back, relax and start reading!