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Home > Blog > December 2012 > Free Library Ebook Guide

E-readers and tablets are among this year's hottest holiday gifts and of course, borrowing Free Library ebooks and audiobooks for your new e-reader or tablet is the hottest activity for those in the know.  In this guide, I'll offer tips on the following topics to get you started:

For more help with downloadable media, visit Overdrive Help or browse past posts on our blog

Tags: ebooks

Get started with ebooks today!
Get started with ebooks today!
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Wed, January 16, 2013
Hi. How do the tokens work for ebooks? I'm trying to download a book on my iPhone and keep getting limit reached as a message. However, I have not used this service in the past today would have been my first time. Thanks, -Mey
MC - Philadelphia
Wed, January 16, 2013
Hi Mey - It sounds like you are trying to use our Freading service. That's the one with tokens. Essentially, all Free Library card holders receive 2 tokens to use on Freading ebooks each week. A full explanation of how it works is found here: http://freelibrary.freading.com/questions/index Our other ebooks service, Overdrive, does not use the token system. Get started with Overdrive here: http://search.freelibrary.org/digitalmedia.cfm If I've misunderstood your question or if you're still having trouble, submit a help request at our Ask a Librarian page (http://libwww.library.phila.gov/faq/eref.cfm) and I will work with you more that way. Thanks!
Jamie W - Philadelphia
Mon, January 28, 2013
Can the ebooks be used on the NOOK HD or other eReaders or iPads/iPhone? Thank you, Giovanna
Giovanna G - Philadelphia
Mon, January 28, 2013
Hi Giovanna - Our ebooks can be used on both Nook tablets (as well as all other Android devices) and Apple iPads and iPhones. See the links in the post above for decive-specific instructions.
Jamie W - Philadelphia
Sat, February 02, 2013
If the Free Library doesn't have an eBook version of a title, is it possible to request that one be purchased? If so, what is the likelihood that the request will be granted?
Christina - New Jersey
Sun, February 03, 2013
Hi Christina - You can indeed recommend ebooks to us for purchase. When searching for a book or author in our Overdrive collection, try clicking on the 'Additional Titles' tab. This will show you ebook and audiobook titles that we do not have but are available to us. You can recommend them to us from there. Here is a blog post that goes into a bit more detail: http://libwww.freelibrary.org/blog/index.cfm?postid=1528 Another issue though is the fact that several large publishers will not sell their digital titles to libraries. We have been advocating for a change to this practice for some time now. However, there are many popular ebook titles we cannot buy simply because the companies that publish them refuse to sell them to us. Here is some more information about that issue: http://libwww.freelibrary.org/blog/index.cfm?postid=1546
Jamie W - Philadelphia
Wed, March 20, 2013
I have an ebook checked out to my kindle that is due to expire in a couple of days. I am not finished reading it, and would like to renew the loan. How can I do that? Thanks.
Jerry - South Philly
Thu, March 21, 2013
Hello Jerry - ebooks are not renewable in the traditional sense. You can check your ebook out again as soon as it expires though. However, the catch is that our ebook collection is so popular that there will likely be someone else on the waiting list for the book and they will get it when your loan expires. So unless no one is waiting on your ebook, you may not be able to check it out again right away. This is not very different from a print library loan though. You cannot renew a print book that someone else has on hold either. Thanks!
Jamie W - Philadelphia
Fri, March 29, 2013
can Ebooks be sent to home computers?
al a - Medford
Mon, April 01, 2013
Hello al a, Sure. You can download our ebooks to your home computer. You will need to add the free Adobe Digital Editions software first though. You can find that here: http://goo.gl/7h9F9. Then, browse our collection and checkout your ebooks in EPUB format. Also, most ebooks in our Overdrive collection can also be read in your browser. There is no need to download the title at all. For that option, just select, 'Read In Browser' after you checkout your ebook in Overdrive. Thanks!
Jamie W - Philadelphia
Mon, April 29, 2013
Hi looks good to a novice here. just got new Laptop an it can upload (as grandson would say to my computer)so I can read on my kindle.Look forward to learning this, an using the new technology.
Grace - Philadelphia
Sun, May 12, 2013
I've recently started using Overdrive to get library ebooks for my Kindle and computer. I can return Kindle books "early" via Amazon's Manage My Kindle page, but I can't figure out a way to do this with EPUB books. Is there any way to "return" or "delete" an EPUB book when I'm done with it, before the expiration date? Thank you!
JJ - Philadelphia
Mon, May 13, 2013
Hi JJ - Good question. EPUB books need to be returned from whatever software it is you're using to read them. For example, if you're using a Kindle Fire you might have installed the Overdrive Media Console App from the Kindle App Store. In that case, you would return EPUB ebooks in the app. If you are using a PC and downloading ebooks using a Adobe Digital Editions to mangage your ebooks, you can return them from within Digital Editions. I hope this info helps. If not, click the Contact Us at the top of this page and send us an email for more individualized help. Good luck!
Jamie W - Philadelphia
Sun, May 26, 2013
IF I were to get an out of state card. Will I be able to use overdrive for ebooks?
Manuel Mejia - Kissimmee, FL
Tue, May 28, 2013
Hello Manuel - Sure. All Free Library cards have the same access to our resources. Thanks.
Jamie W - Philadelphia
Thu, August 01, 2013
I am using a Chromebook now and am a novice at using the Cloud primarily, rather than a full hard drive for my files. I believe I need to be mindful of the size of the files I download on my download drive (something like 9 KG). How large is a typical adult ebook file--say, 400 pages? Also, what are the advantages/disadvantages of downloading versus just browsing? Is it only useful if moving between devises? Can I put a book on a Flash drive for browsing without downloading? Excited about the possibilities, but a bit confused. Thanks.
Brenda - Philadelphia
Thu, August 01, 2013
Hello Brenda - thanks for writing and I'm glad to hear you're interested in our ebook services. An average file size for an ebook is about 1 MB. However, since you indicated that you will be reading on your Chromebook, the best option for you might be to simply use Overdrive's in-browser Reader. Learn more about it and how to use it here: http://goo.gl/XyNr7W. This will avoid any issues with file sizes and storage. As to your other question, while you can technically save an ebook file to a flash drive there would be a host of issues surrounding the Digital Rights Management (DRM) on the file and your Adobe permissions if you moved it from one device to another. It would likely be easier to avoid that option. Try checking out and reading an ebook with in-browser reader and if you run into trouble contact us directly at: http://libwww.library.phila.gov/faq/eref.cfm. Thanks!
Jamie W - Philadelphia
Fri, December 13, 2013
I have a Nook Simple, how can I return a book?
laura - phila
Fri, December 13, 2013
Hello Laura -- You can return an ebook early from your Adobe Digital Editions software. Then next time you plug your Nook into your computer and synch to your Digital Editions, it will be removed from your eReader. Here are instructions -- http://goo.gl/oZqAZv -- if you need more help, contact us directly here -- http://libwww.library.phila.gov/faq/eref.cfm
Jamie W - Philadelphia
Sun, February 23, 2014
Is there a way to text/take notes and save for review after I have returned the book.
David W - Philadelphia
Wed, March 12, 2014
David W: I don't work for the Free library, but I believe it depends on your device. For Kindle e-readers, you need to have the book on the device to access the notes menu. I know that Amazon keeps them in the cloud so that you will always have them if you get the book again, but it doesn't look like you can review them unless the book is on the device. More generally, I love that the library has embraced e-books. It allows them to maintain their mission while adapting to a more electronic younger generation. While the selection is huge, there are some more lesser-known books I'd like to see, but I realize that's probably in the hands of the publishers.
Peter B - South Philly
Mon, March 24, 2014
Do I need to wait until I receive my library card to use the ebook service? Is there any way to find out my card number now so I can access ebooks through the Overdrive app?
Jessica - Pottsville
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