If 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).