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How To Video
Get free e-books from the libraryUsing the OverDrive Media Console, you can download free e-books and audiobooks from your local library--without the late fees. Sharon Vaknin shows you how to check out the titles you want.
-I'm Sharon Vaknin for cnet.com here to bring you back to the good old days. We're seeing Brick and Mortar bookstores like Borders go bankrupt as cheap online stores and eBooks are taking over. So, let's help keep one thing alive: Libraries. Today, I'll show you how to check out eBooks and audio books from your local library for free. First, you'll have to get off the couch, walk out the door, and head to your local library to get a library card. Then, download the Overdrive app. It's available for almost every platform including Windows, MAC, iOS devices, android, Blackberry, and Windows Mobile. Overdrive is like the Kindle or iBooks apps for libraries. Once it's on your device, open the app, hit get books, and then add a website. You'll be asked to find your library. Once you do, select the right library system. Now, you're ready to find a book to download. Here's the annoying part though, right now, most libraries only have a few copies or licenses of each book. You'll have to think back to your childhood and remember that if somebody else checked out the book you want, you'll have to wait your turn. Each book can be loaned out for up to 14 days. So, if three people are on the waiting list ahead of you, do the math. That's 42 days. But every library system has its own licences for eBooks and audio books, so you might have to check a few libraries before finding the copy of your book. When you do find a book that's ready for download, hit add to cart and check out. This is when you'll be asked to enter your library card number. Now, confirm your checkout and hit download in the next screen. Overdrive will reopen and begin the download. One thing to keep in mind is that books downloaded with Overdrive can only be used with that app. You won't be able to open them in any other eReader app like iBooks or Kindle. Overdrive isn't for people who need instant gratification. So, if that's what you're looking for, you'll probably have to purchase your eBooks on digital platforms or go to one of the few physical bookstores left. If you have any how-to questions, comments, or ideas for one of these videos, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For CNET, I'm Sharon Vaknin and I'll see you on the interwebs.