In Canada and the United States the vast majority of public libraries have an ebook collection. Overdrive stated that they power 95% of all libraries and there are a number of smaller companies that are involved in this field as well, such as Hoopla and Bibliotheca. There are a number of e-readers that have functionality to deliver ebooks right from the library and read them and today we look at the best ones.
The Kobo Forma, Kobo Clara HD and Kobo Aura Edition 2 all have Overdrive functionality baked right into the e-reader. You can go to the settings menu and enter your library card number and then browse your local branches collection of ebooks. When you find a title you want to borrow, you can deliver it right to your e-reader and it is placed in your main library menu. When you are finished reading, you can send it back to the library, or it will automatically leave your device at the end of the loan period.
Kobo is the only company to have this type of system right on their e-readers. Rakuten owns both companies, so if you are looking for an intuitive library experience, Kobo is the best.
All of the modern Kindle e-readers in the United States can borrow ebooks from Overdrive. The two sides signed a contract almost 7 years ago and it keeps getting renewed. Amazon does not devote any marketing power to let customers know they can borrow ebooks from the library, but the entire experience is not as intuitive as Kobo.
In order to borrow ebooks from the public library on your Kindle you need to visit the website of your local branch on your computer. When you find a novel you want to read, there is a Kindle Book field. You need to click on that and then associate your Amazon account with Overdrive. You can then wirelessly send the ebook right to your Kindle. Some Kindle Books, including many picture books, read-alongs, and graphic novels are not supported.
Barnes and Noble
The Nook line of e-readers have Adobe DRM support, which means you can borrow ebooks from the public library. The entire process is less intuitive than Amazon or Kobo. You have to visit your local branches website and find a book you want to borrow. There is normally an EPUB download button you can click on and download it to your computer. You need to then download Adobe Digital Editions and register a new account. You need to enter this account information in the settings area of your Nook e-reader, so both programs have the same login and password. Plug your Nook into your PC and simply import the EPUB you downloaded into ADE and drag it into My Files.
Many Android e-readers from Onyx Boox and Boyue both have Android 6.0 or higher installed. They also have Google Play, so you can easily download the Overdrive app or whatever provider your local branch does business with. Download the app and you can browse your local libraries collection of audiobooks and ebooks and then read them. Most Android e-readers not only support Overdrive, but Libby too.
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 CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.