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Using Overdrive Library eBooks on your Nook or other EPUB Reader

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Last modification by sppl
May 21, 2013, 3:35 pm → version: 8
Language: English
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Using Overdrive Library eBooks on your Nook or other EPUB Reader 5 by 9 users
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There are three steps to getting an ebook from Overdrive using a computer and/or a reader: 

1. Get an ebook

2. Get Adobe Digital Editions 2.0.

3. Read the book on your computer or transfer it to a portable reader.


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On the library home page (, hover your cursor over Books and click on eBooks.


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Click on Download eBooks from Overdrive.

For more help, click on More information, including compatible devices and how to get started.


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This is St. Paul Public’s Overdrive catalog.

The book symbol in the upper right on each cover is black when the title is available, and gray when it’s checked out.

To find a book, browse through categories (hidden or shown through the Menu icon) or…


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…use Search or…


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Advanced Search.

You can search by title or author or search in certain categories. This is also where you find the ever handy Only Titles with Copies Available option.


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You can narrow your search results in different ways.

You can:

Search within results.

Search by format


You can also limit by:

My library’s collection – only what SPPL owns

Only titles with copies available - just what’s available for checkout

Additional titles to recommend - everything Overdrive offers (This collection includes what SPPL owns plus many other titles. You can use it to recommend titles for purchase to your library.)


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To indicate how long you want to check your ebooks out for – 7, 14, or 21 days - click on Settings in Account. It’s automatically set for 21 days.


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Click on the cover of a book for more information and to check it out.

Be sure to check the Available Formats to make sure you can read it on your device.

Click the Borrow button to check the ebook out.

If you see a Place a Hold button instead, no copies of the title are “on shelf;” place a hold. When your turn comes up, you’ll get an email and have 3 days to check the book out. (Each copy of can only be checked out by one person at a time.)

Wishlist = a list of titles you’re interested in – for your reference only.  You are not placing a hold here. Click the ribbon or the button - The ribbon turns red when a title is on your wish list.

Library Copies = what SPPL owns.

Available Copies = what are currently “on shelf.”


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Enter your library card number; you don’t need your PIN.

Pay attention to the Remember my login information on this device checkbox.  Do you want your library card number remembered here?

Click Sign In.


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Click the Download button and choose the EPUB format.  Then click Confirm & Download. Once you’ve done this, you CANNOT change to another format.

If there’s a Read (in your browser) button you can read it on your computer by clicking it.  You can do this at any time, even if you’ve already downloaded the ebook. 

When you first check out a title, it has a Return Title button.  You can use this to return the title before you download it.  After you download it you need to return it from your Bookshelf.

Now you need Adobe Digital Editions (ADE).  If you already have it loaded on your computer, skip to step 33.


Kindle is for the Kindle readers and apps only.

EPUB is for any other reader or for the Overdrive App.

PDF is used very seldom – you can ignore this format safely.


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Click the Software link you’ll find on the bottom left of most pages in the Digital Catalog.

If you want to know more about why you need to do the next steps, read on.  If you just want to do them, move to the next step.

Publishers protect their investment and rights using copyright protection software called Digital Rights Management (DRM). It controls what you can do with an eBook – reading only, copying, lending, etc.  For Overdrive, that comes in three parts:

1.Overdrive’s eBooks are wrapped in DRM software that

2. works with Adobe (a software company) and

3.  software downloaded on your computer to ensure that Overdrive eBooks are used properly.

The software Overdrive and the publishers have agreed to use to handle the DRM is Adobe Digital Editions (ADE). In order to use Overdrive library ebooks in the EPUB format you’ll need to: ADE to your computer

2.create an Adobe ID, and

3.Authorize ADE and your reader. (You can’t download ADE to an reader – it has to be downloaded to a computer.)

I know it sounds overwhelming, but don’t worry.  You only have to do this once, and it’s not as complicated as it seems.  This tutorial walks you through what you need to do, step by step.


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Clicking the Adobe Digital Editions icon takes you to the Adobe website.


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Click Download now.


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Choose Macintosh (Mac) or Windows (PC).


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Choose Save File.


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Find the file.  It might be in your Downloads folder.  It should look like this.


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Click in the I accept the terms in the License Agreement box and then click Next>.


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Select the options you want.  Click Next>.


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Let the Setup run until the bar is filled with blue and then click Close.


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If you had ADE 1.0, you will see this box. Click Migrate Data. This will move all the books from ADE 1.0 into ADE 2.0.


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Click Skip. The uninstalling of ADE 1.0 does not work from here.  You can safely leave it on your computer and ignore it, or uninstall it manually.


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Click Done. ADE 2.0 will open automatically.


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Next, you have to authorize ADE 2.0.  Click Authorize Computer… in the Help menu.

(To check what Adobe ID your ADE is authorized as later click Authorization Information.)


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Click Continue.

If you were to stop here you could still read some books on ADE, but NOT library books.


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If you don’t have an Adobe ID, click Create an Adobe ID.

If you do have an Adobe ID, enter the information and click the Authorize button and skip to step 29.

If you want to know more about why you need to do the next steps, read on.  If you just want to do them, move to the next step.

Your Adobe ID is a necessary part of the Digital Rights Management process.  By giving each person using Overdrive an ID to be used with ADE and any devices you use, the publishers and Overdrive can be sure that their books are being used the way they want them to be used.

Each Adobe ID (the email address associated with the account) can be used with 6 computers or devices – they can all interact with the same books checked out from Overdrive. So, if you like, you can download the same book to all 6 devices at the same time.

Adobe also backs up your library and offers a small starter collection of free books.

More information about Authorization can be found here:


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Fill out the application.

If you don’t want Adobe sending you advertising emails, make sure the Stay informed via email about Adobe products and services box is unchecked.


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You should see this screen after successfully authorizing ADE.  Close the browser tab and go back to the Overdrive Catalog.


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Back in Overdrive, you’ll see a pop-up window.  Choose Open with and make sure it says Adobe Digital Editions 2.0 , which should be listed automatically.

If it’s not, click the down-pointing triangle on the right and choose it from the list.

Click OK.

If you choose Save file and click OK by mistake, don’t worry.  You can download your book as many times as you want.  So just click Download again and choose Open with.

If the pop-up window is not there, click Download next to the book you want to read.


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Here’s the book opened up in ADE. This is called the Reading pane.

Turn pages with the arrows at the bottom.

In the dark gray toolbar at the top you can:

Bookmark pages with the ribbon on the left.
Make notes
Adjust the font size by clicking the two A’s on the right.
Search within the book using the search box on the right.

Click on Library to go to…


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…the Library View.

The ribbon across the upper right corner of the book shows how much time you have left on an Overdrive book. When that time is up, it gets returned automatically, but the unusable/corrupted file stays on ADE or your reader. You can’t have overdue fees on a library ebook.

ADE can work with EPUB books from sources other than Overdrive.


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Right click (with the right button on your mouse) the cover of a book for a menu of options.

Copy to Bookshelf means you can put an additional copy on another bookshelf.  Your bookshelves are listed on the left.

Return Borrowed item means you don’t have it checked out any more and it gets removed from ADE.

Remove from Library removes it from ADE but does not return it. You’d still have it checked out, and could download it again later.

If you just want to read your book on ADE, you’re done.  If you want to read it on an reader, go to the next step.

The books automatically corrupt when they’re due, so the files are unusable. You can delete them at any time. 


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Now you have to authorize your reader for the same reason you authorized your Adobe Digital Editions – to make the DRM work properly. Both need to be Authorized with the same Adobe ID for them to work with Overdrive.

Plug your reader into your computer using the cable that should have come with your reader. Make sure the reader’s turned on. This dialog box will show up first.  Click Cancel.


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Click on NOOK under Devices.


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Click on the picture of the gear with the down arrow next to it. Then click on Authorize Device….

On many devices the gear is the symbol for Settings, which is where you handle all sorts of administrative tasks.


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ADE 2.0 will automatically bring up the Adobe ID that it’s authorized with.  Click in the circle next to it, and then click Authorize Device.


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Success!  Click OK.


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You move books to your reader by dragging and dropping.  Click on the book you want to move so it has a dark blue background. Then click again and hold down the left mouse button.  Move your pointer to where your reader is listed on the left (the picture of the book should move as well) while holding the left mouse button down. 

You will see a red circle with a line through it.


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A green plus sign will appear when the title can be dropped into your reader, which you do by letting go of the mouse button.

You can select more than one book at a time by holding down the Ctrl button on your keyboard and clicking on titles with your mouse. You would do the drag and drop after you’d selected all the titles you want to move. 


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If you click the icon (or picture) of an attached reader, you can see what’s currently loaded on it.


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Before you unplug your reader from your computer, do the following steps to be sure your reader’s contents are safe. If you unplug it while the computer and reader are sharing data, you could damage the data on your device.

If you’re using a PC:

Click the icon (or picture) of a gray rectangle with a green arrow in the lower right corner of your computer screen.

Click the Safely Remove … button that pops up.

The computer will tell you it it’s safe to remove the reader or not.  If so unplug the reader from the computer.

If not, wait a little while and try again.

If it still doesn’t work, turn the computer off and then unplug the reader.

If you’re using a Mac drag the reader icon into the trash.

The reader will probably need to be unplugged from your computer for you to read the books on it.


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You can get a lot of free ebooks legally online. Many of them are in the public domain (not covered by copyright anymore), some of them are promotional, and some of them are not professionally published. You can find a list of sources at

Just be sure that you get books that are in the following formats:




Only Kindle devices/apps can use the Kindle or Mobipocket formats.


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This Always Available link takes you to Project Gutenberg which has thousands of free, public-domain ebooks available in multiple formats.  As they go through a multi-layer editing process, they’re of good quality.


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If you need additional help, check out the resources on the Overdrive page by clicking the question mark.


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Discover the Next Generation Experience gives a good overview of the new Overdrive, if you want further help.

If you can’t find your answer anywhere else, click Support to email the library.


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Enjoy your eBooks!

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