As a kid I hovered under the covers for hours with a flashlight to read my Baby-sitters Club and Ramona books well after my parents called, “Lights out!” This rogue behavior was the most redeeming fault a parent could probably hope for from a tween, right? As I aged, my pleasure reading was replaced with assigned readings for classes and work. Now as a stay-at-home mom, I have rediscovered my love of books and reading has become a happy place, a chance to live vicariously, learn ferociously and just plain lose myself for the sake of “me time”.
Last Christmas Ben gifted me an iPad mini; its become my favorite device for traveling about town and beyond (you know, to keep me busy during ballet class, swim class, preschool pick-up, etc.). After initially buying several books to read, I did some research and found Overdrive Media Console, a handy little free app which allows me to log into my local library (using my library account number and password) to borrow eReader or audio books. I downloaded the app on my iPad for eReader books and my iPhone for audiobooks (mostly to listen during workouts or long drives/air travel when Gemma is playing on her iPad with headphones).
Overdrive Media Console is compatible with iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, Kindle, Android, Blackberry, Nook and Mac or Windows computers. You can find your local participating library on the Overdrive website or via search within the app. Before you can log into your library to download books, you must make sure you have 1) a valid library account/card, and 2) create a profile within the Overdrive app. You can request the app to remember your library and password for easy access to your library’s collection of titles.
Once you’ve downloaded titles, you can customize your e-reading experience to your liking – alter the font size, screen brightness and page format. You can close and reopen the app and it will remember your place or you can bookmark your place for reference. For audio books, the app also remembers when you left off, and you can adjust settings to have the audio playback 15, 30 or more seconds to recap the last few sentences from your previous listening session. You can also adjust the audio speed.
The app links to Goodreads so you can search book titles and reviews, bookmark titles you want to read, rate and write reviews on books, and share your favorite picks with friends on Facebook or blogs.
I’m so happy to be back in the
pages digital files, soaking up knowledge, exercising my brain, and losing myself in some great stories!
- Download Overdrive Media Console.
- Join Goodreads.
- Not all libraries participate in the Overdrive digital library service. Do a quick search online to see if your library is part of the Overdrive collection.
- It’s helpful to watch the short tutorial video (found within the app) to learn how to use the system/app and adjust settings.
- The app limits you to four (4) items checked out at a time (combined…i.e. 2 titles on your iPad plus 2 titles on your iPhone equals the 4 title max).
- You can set your preferences for a 7 or 14 day checkout period.
- It doesn’t seem there are not a lot of young reader books available; possibly more for the tween set (vs toddlers).