HOWTO | Browse And Bor­row Books

Mac Format - - IMPROVE -

1 Over­Drive ac­count

When you first launch Over­Drive you’ll be prompted to cre­ate an ac­count. You can browse through the app to see how it works first, but you can’t ac­tu­ally down­load any books with­out one. Cre­at­ing your ac­count ac­ti­vates the Adobe DRM soft­ware – dig­i­tal rights man­age­ment – that Over­Drive uses to pre­vent peo­ple from mak­ing il­le­gal copies of books. Your ac­count also al­lows you to sync your books – in­clud­ing book­marks – to mul­ti­ple de­vices, such as an iPad at home and an iPhone for the train.

2 Li­brary list

The next step is to tell Over­Drive which li­brary you be­long to. The de­vel­op­ers work with li­braries all over the world, and the app in­cludes a list of li­braries or­gan­ised by coun­try that you can browse through. You prob­a­bly won’t find your lit­tle lo­cal branch li­brary in that list – un­less it’s well known for hav­ing a spe­cial­ist col­lec­tion – but en­ter the name of your city or your lo­cal coun­cil into the search field and Over­Drive will check to see if there’s an on­line li­brary ser­vice in your area.

3 Free books!

MacFor­mat’s Lon­don of­fice comes un­der the Lon­don Li­braries Con­sor­tium, and there are sim­i­lar groups of li­braries cov­er­ing most parts of the UK. Over­Drive now shows the home page for that group of li­braries. The large grey menu sec­tion lists all the dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories of books and au­dio­books that are on of­fer – fic­tion and non-fic­tion, and even comics and graphic nov­els. We can browse the col­lec­tion from here, but can’t ac­tu­ally bor­row any­thing un­til signed in with li­brary mem­ber­ship de­tails.


Li­brary card

You can only bor­row books from a li­brary you be­long to, so if you’re not al­ready a mem­ber of your lo­cal li­brary then this is a good time to sign up. Your li­brary mem­ber­ship card will have both a mem­ber­ship num­ber and a PIN for se­cu­rity, and you need to en­ter those into Over­Drive so it can con­firm your mem­ber­ship. Over­Drive can con­nect you to hun­dreds of li­braries all around the world, although most peo­ple will just be­long to one li­brary in their own lo­cal area.


The Bor­row but­ton

The search tools on your li­brary’s home page al­low you to browse through cat­e­gories, or to lo­cate spe­cific au­thors or ti­tles. All books and au­dio­books al­low you to read or lis­ten to a short sam­ple be­fore bor­row­ing, and if you click on the au­thor’s name you’ll see other books from the same pen. If the book is avail­able you can click the Bor­row but­ton to down­load it, but if all copies of a book are al­ready on loan you can add it to your Wish List, and Over­Drive will send you an email when it be­comes avail­able.


Easy read­ing

Over­Drive is sim­i­lar to Ap­ple’s iBooks app, show­ing you each text page in­di­vid­u­ally and al­low­ing you to turn the page sim­ply by swip­ing left or right. The menu but­ton in the top-right cor­ner al­lows you to quickly select chap­ters, while the but­ton in the top-left cor­ner re­turns you to your li­brary’s home page. If you tap in the mid­dle of a page Over­Drive dis­plays ad­di­tional con­trols, such as se­lect­ing a dif­fer­ent type­face and size. And, of course, there are the oblig­a­tory so­cial me­dia op­tions.

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