Ebooks and Ereaders

How to read ebooks, Part 6.1: More on checking out library books

I totally fell over finishing these posts up, but would like to get back to this series of posts now that I have new data to add to them courtesy of my recent iPad. And, conveniently enough, that ties back into the last post I did, which was about how to check out library ebooks!

I have discovered to my pleasure that there’s an iPhone/iPad app called Overdrive Media Console. This thing talks to Adobe DRM, and will go out and yoink down ebooks for you from any library websites that are compatible with the app. Here’s what you do:

  • Go install the app from the App Store.
  • If you don’t have one already, create an Adobe ID so you can authorize your i-Device to unlock Adobe DRM books.
  • Log into the app with your Adobe ID, and let it authorize your device.
  • Click the “Get Books” button up in the right hand corner to search for library websites. I found mine with little effort, and once you’ve found your library, the app should add it to your list.
  • You can then use the app to load your library’s website (it’ll open in Safari). In my case, that loaded in Safari and gave me a mobile version of the site, hooked into the app.
  • Log in with your library’s website credentials so you can get at your account.
  • Use the website’s systems, whatever they may be, to download items you check out. In my case, when testing this tonight, I had two books checked out and was able to simply tap the Download button on each to have them come straight down into the app.
  • Read!

This was, in short, awesome. Don’t get me wrong, I actually prefer reading on the Nook (for various reasons I’ll get into in the next post in the series), but getting the library books onto the iPad was so much easier and less headachy than getting them onto the Nook that I will probably do this for all future library checkouts. The main point of headache for Nook-based checkouts, the painful ADE app Mac-side, is completely bypassed this way. I would definitely recommend this for my fellow i-Device owners.

Now, here’s the best part: this app is not exclusive to i-Devices, either. There are desktop versions for both Windows and Mac, AND there are mobile versions for Android and Windows Mobile users as well. Check out these other versions, people, and report in on how well they work for you!

All of this does of course assume that you have a valid account on whatever library system you’re checking out books from, so be sure and handle that separately from getting the app installed. You may need to hunt around a bit to find a library system you can use, if your local one doesn’t support electronic checkouts. Y’all please feel free to report in on what library sites you like, whether or not they allow checkouts from persons who don’t live in the area, and anything else you’d like to share!

As a last note, thus far my library experiences with ebooks are limited to the Nook and to my iPad. So if folks out there are aware of other systems that allow interesting ebook checkouts, share those too!

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