OverDrive

Free Media with OverDrive App

I want to share OverDrive with anyone who might like to read ebooks and listen to audiobooks.  Right now, Amazon has firmly planted themselves in the middle of the digital book revolution.  With services like Audible and Kindle Unlimited, which are great services, Amazon is flaunting the fact that they see the value that customers are placing in these services.  OverDrive helps to reduce the cost burden for the aforementioned digital media.

I’m thrifty (that’s a nice word for it).  I was a graduate student for the better part of a decade.  You can feel to translate that as “I was far, far below poverty line for years”.   At $15 ($14.95–let’s call it like it is) and $10, respectively, the above services create a $25/month enjoyment ($300/year) that I don’t have to spend when there are apps like OverDrive and services like public libraries.

Free Media with OverDrive App

OverDrive is an app that you cannot miss.  Basically, it harnesses the power of your local public library while also taking advantage of all of the works that are out of copyright.

Available on the Google Play store and on the iTunes store, this app can be installed to any mobile device.  From there, you have to create an OverDrive account (simple).  The hardest part becomes adding your participating local library (not all libraries do participate) and your correct credentials.  For me, this was not so easy although very worthwhile.

Ensure that the app remembers the library credentials.  I only advise this because for me the username/PIN was my library card number and there’s no way that I want to type that very long number in on my devices every time (or memorize that number to type it in!).

So what can you get?  Well, for example:

  1. I’ve recently listened to (on audiobook) the first two books in the “Game of Thrones” series,
  2. I’ve recently read two of Lee Childs’ novels in the Jack Reacher series.
  3. I’m currently listening to Raymond Chandler’s “The Big Sleep”.

The audiobooks are probably the same you’d listen to on Audible and have enjoyable, seasoned readers.

The service and content make the app more worthwhile than it’s function.  Additional “checkouts” or renewals have been somewhat problematic.  (There are multiple tech layers and potential user error, I’ll admit.)

How do you access the media?  Books can be downloaded in either Kindle or ePub formats.  I typically choose Kindle because I like the app.  Audiobooks can be listened to, directly through the app or downloaded for offline use.  I recommend the later choice.  If you don’t have copious amounts of storage on your device, I recommend having an external storage card and setting storage to the SD card (Menu->Settings – > Save Downloaded Titles to-> “File Storage”).  If no additional storage, be diligent about cleanup.

Conclusion

If you like audiobooks (running, in the car, on flights, etc.), OverDrive is a wonderful app.  If you like reading and are fine to read on a tablet or phone, OverDrive is where it’s at.  It’s free and functional.

The mobile device revolution may have hastened the death of print but it certainly has created a blossom in the consumption of wonderful literary works, both classic and modern.

If you have any experiences with OverDrive, any thoughts to share, or any questions to ask, please leave them in the comments below!  I’ll respond to each one.

 

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