Overdrive is the largest company in the world that facilitates the lending process of ebooks to your local library. The company announced staggering figures today, which show the copious amount of digital loans from people with e-readers and other devices.
In 2011, almost 35 million ebooks were checked out by patrons belonging to their local branch, proving that library lending is continuing to gain traction. Obviously, popular books have long wait times and over 17 million holds were placed so you could be the next one in line. So just how many books are in the company’s system for libraries to purchase for their clients? Their entire portfolio contains 700,000 copyrighted eBook, audiobook, music, and video titles in 52 languages, including 300,000 titles added in 2011.
Many people who own Android devices end up installing the official Overdrive Client application called the OverDrive Media Console. This allows you to borrow books and read them directly on your device. The entire process is much easier than downloading the book to your PC and then transferring it to your tablet via Adobe Digital Editions. This new app, which is barely a few years old, grew mightily in 2011 garnering five million new users. The total user base for this app officially is around eleven million.
What makes Overdrive so damn popular for people wanting to check out the latest ebooks? Well partly it is due to the rising popularity of electronic book readers in the retail sphere. The Nook, Kindle, Kobo, and Sony enjoy being stocked at some of the leading big box retailers like Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Futureshop, and many others. Another factor coming into play is the price reduction on these products. You can now purchase a fairly good device for under $100.00. Also, the new Kindle Lending Program, which went live mid last year, finally gave Amazon users the ability to borrow books from the library. Finally, it is simply due to economics. In this current market climate people don’t have a ton of disposable income to buy every book they want to read. The library is a great source because you can read the current crop of best sellers and not have to spend anything.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.