Overdrive READ: the easiest way to read an ebook

By Jamie W. RSS Fri, December 20, 2013

The holidays are nearly here and one thing we've come to expect at this time of year is a flood of requests from people looking for help reading library ebooks on their computers, phones, tablets, and devices.  Those of you who've been reading library ebooks for a few years now already know the process works much more smoothly than it did in the past and now reading on your device is easier than ever. 

There are a number of apps and software to use when reading library ebooks -- for more on which might work best for your device, see our ebook Guide -- but one reading method in particular stands out for how simple it is. 

Overdrive READ is the in-browser reader from Overdrive. Overdrive is one of the primary platforms over which the library provides our ebooks. With Overdrive READ you can checkout and read an ebook directly in the web browser of your device, no additional apps or software are required.

Overdrive READ will work on any device with a web browser. That includes PC or Mac computers, Android smart phones or tablets, Apple iPhones and iPads, and most other devices that can display webpages (the Kindle FIre and Fire HD can use Overdrive READ though you will need to add a third party browser such as the Maxthon Mobile app from the Kindle app store becuase the Kindle's native browser is not compatible with READ).

Here's how to use Overdrive READ:

  • Visit http://freelibrary.lib.overdrive.com on your computer or device.
  • Find a book you would like to read
  • Click the cover to open the book
  • On the right of the screen, find Available Formats and look for OverdriveREAD (while most ebooks are available for in-browser reading, some are not)
  • Click Borrow
  • Enter your Free Library card number and PIN
  • Click the button for Read (in your browser)
  • The ebook will open and you can begin reading
  • In most browser you will be able to make your ebook available for reading when you are not connected to the internet.

More information about Overdrive READ is available from Overdrive. If you have trouble, please don't hesitate to contact us

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I don't remember my pin number?
Tatyana Yevkovich - Philadelphia
Saturday, January 4, 2014

Hello Tatyana - You can reset your PIN online - http://libwww.freelibrary.org/register/getpin.cfm
Jamie W - Philadelphia
Monday, January 6, 2014

It's been a long time since I've downloaded from your web site and am having problems, I have a nook color and it is stating that it cannot read acsm format. I've waited so long on the waiting list to get this book. Please help. I have changed computers, but did reset my adobe password.
Lorrie Riley - Wylie
Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Anthony Demeo - Philadelphia
Thursday, February 22, 2018

Really enjoy the books
Leanna winters - NORTHUMBERLAND Pennsylvania
Monday, March 5, 2018

Can't get back to my book
LeannaWinters winters - Central penna
Sunday, April 22, 2018

I have had several books on hold and now they are available. Unfortunately I am not able to access the website for some reason, I have not had any issues with the regular library site though.
jennifer albert - Phila
Friday, July 20, 2018

I try to log into overdrive but keep getting the message that my library card and pin cannot be validated at this time. It's been several days. Any suggestions?
Margot Hill - Mountain Top
Thursday, October 24, 2019

I have enjoyed reading your ebooks for many years. I have a dear friend who can no longer read but would love to find free audio books. I told her about the Free Library of Philadelphia. Can you help us please? Thank you so much. She is a senior citizen of 83 years.
Carol Eberle - Peoria, Illinois
Monday, May 11, 2020