OverDrive Read

OverDrive LogoIf you enjoy reading library e-books on your device, but find downloading titles to be a painful process, we have good news!  OverDrive has a new option for users called “OverDrive Read.”  This allows e-books to be read in any modern web browser (such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc.) without the need to download.  As an added bonus, the e-books are stored “in the cloud”, which means your place will be saved no matter which device or browser you use to access the e-books.

As with anything that seems too good to be true, there are some limitations.  For instance, if you are using a Nook or a Kindle, the e-books may not work in your browser, but OverDrive claims to be working on this.  For more on browser details, see OverDrive’s compatibility page.  Also, if you use a version of Internet Explorer prior to 10, the first time you try to access a Read title you may be asked to download and install a plug-in called, “Google Chrome Frame.”  This is necessary to view the books properly, but will only need to be done once.  Finally, and most importantly, not all e-books are available in Read format.  In fact, due to publisher restrictions, only about 60% of OverDrive e-books can be read in a browser.

One nice thing is that Read titles can be accessed offline.  When you open a title, it is cached (saved) for offline access.  You can save the title to your bookmarks/favorites or save them as links on your mobile device’s home screen.  As long as you don’t clear out your cache, the e-book will be available to you for the entire lending period whether you are online or not.  Unfortunately, if you needed to install the Chrome Frame plug-in to view your book in Internet Explorer, offline reading is not supported.  We recommend upgrading to IE10 or installing an alternate browser.  Another handy feature of Read e-books is that they can be returned early from within your OverDrive account’s bookshelf.

For a step-by-step picture guide to finding and downloading Read titles, download the library’s PDF brochure.  Still have questions?  Let us know in the comments below, stop by the Reference Desk , or contact us via email or phone (518-477-7476, option 5).

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