Downloading Overdrive and other free e-books into Nooks by pengtt


									Downloading Overdrive and other free e-
books into Nooks
                                                                                    by Chris Rippel
                                                                     Central Kansas Library System
                                                                               Great Bend, Kansas
                                                                                        April 2010

The following pages are step-by-step instructions for loading free
Overdrive e-books and e-books from other Web sources into e-
reading devices. Overdrive e-books can be downloaded into Sony
Readers and Nooks. I have Nook. Though I used my Nook for
creating these instructions, I believe the Overdrive instructions
would be useful for people using Sony Readers. The instructions
for free e-books from other Web sites would be helpful to owners                        QuickTime™ a
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of any e-reading device.
   Overdrive e-books are mostly new. (There are a few classics.)
    They “check out” for seven, fourteen and twenty-one days.
    When the check out period ends, the e-book can no longer be
    read on the device. Further reading requires renewing
    checking out the e-book again. Below are the number of e-
    books in the collection in early April 2010.
    General fiction: 658             General nonfiction: 500
    Historical fiction: 57           Biography: 52
    Mystery & thriller: 220          Business: 42
    Romance: 148                     Medical and health: 50
   Most free e-books from other Web sources are published before 1924. They are in the
    “public domain, i.e., they are no longer protected by copyright. These e-books will remain
    readable on e-readers until deleted. Most are classics of fiction and non- fiction. A smaller
    number of texts are written after 1924, but their owners have placed tthese work, for a variety
    of reasons, in the public domain. Some of these texts are good. Some are not.
E-books purchased from's or Barnes and Noble’s online stores are usually
downloaded through wireless networks. This process is quick and simple. Getting free e-books
from Overdrive and other Web sources into an e-reading device requires more steps. The process
is called “sideloading.” The following instructions of sideloading are very detailed, giving the
illusion that this proces takes sooo long and is tooo complicated. Your first time through these
instructions may seem to confirm this impression.
In actual fact, as you become familiar with the process, downloading e-books to computers and
transferring them into e-reading devices takes a minute or less than a minute. As you become
comfortable with the process, you may, like me, find it fun to browse for good e-books and
download them onto your e-reading device. Happy reading !!!
                                                                                  Page 2

Table of contents

  The two preliminary steps listed in the table of contents below are necessary for
  downloading Overdrive e-books onto computers and transferring them into Sony Readers
  and Nooks.
  After getting a Kansas Library Card and downloading and installing Adobe Digital
  Editions, from then on, the process of getting Overdrive e-books into your e-reading device
  begins with Major Step 1 and ends with Major Step 5.
  The next two sections after Major Step 5 explain how to get free e-books from other Web
  sources. These sections would be useful to owners of any e-reading device including
  The last section describes how to use software called Calibre to turn any text into the
  format required by most e-reading devices. The example illustrating the instructions turns
  an e-book presented as a Web page into an e-book for my Nook and then loads it onto my

TABLE OF CONTENT S .................................................................................................................................................................. 3
PRELIMINARY 1: GETTING A KANSAS LIBRARY CARD.......................................................................................................... 4
PRELIMINARY 2: DOWNLOAD AND INST ALL A DOBE DIGITAL EDITIONS............................................................................ 5
M AJOR ST EP 1: FINDING OVERDRIVE E -BOOKS...................................................................................................................... 6
M AJOR STEP 2: DOWNLOAD OVERDRIVE E -BOOKS T O COMPUTER...................................................................................... 9
M AJOR STEP 3: TRANSFER OVERDRIVE E -BOOKS T O E -READING DEVICE......................................................................... 12
M AJOR STEP 4: PROPERLY DISCONNECT E -READING DEVICE FROM COMPUTER .............................................................. 13
M AJOR STEP 5: VIEWING E -BOOKS ON E -READING DEVICE (NOOK).................................................................................. 13
FREE CONTENT FOR E -READING DEVICES ............................................................................................................................. 14
DOWNLOADING FREE E -BOOKS INTO A NOOK....................................................................................................................... 16
U SING CALIBRE T O MAKE FREE E-BOOKS FOR E -READING DEVICES.................................................................................. 17

Preliminary 1: Getting a Kansas Library Card
If you do not have a library card from one of the following libraries, then you need a Kansas
Library Card to check out Overdrive e-books.
   Combined Arms Research Library                       Southwestern College Library
   Johnson County Library                               Topeka & Shawnee County Public
   Kansas City Public Library
                                                         Wichita Public Library
   Lawrence Public Library
                                                         Wichita State University Libraries
   Olathe Public Library
   Pittsburg State University

All Kansas residents are eligible for Kansas Library Cards. All libraries should be able to provide
Kansas residents with a Kansas Library Card. If the librarian is not able to provide you with a
card, ask the librarian to contact their “regional library system” or the State Library of Kansas.

1. You can receive a temporary Kansas Library Card by
   going to
2. Near the bottom of the screen, click “Register for a
   Temporary Card.”
Note: The Kansas Library Card permanently identifies you
as a Kansas resident. To use this temporary card
permanently, you must go to a local library to verify you
eligibility as a Kansas resident.

3. Type your first name, middle initial, and last name. If
   you do not have a middle initial, then type “A”.
4. Type your birthday using the following formula:
   mm/dd/yyyy. You can lie about your birth date, but if
   you forget your lie, you will have to register again
   because your birth date is one requirement of the login.
5. Click the “Submit” button.
6. You will be asked to verify that the information is
   correct. If it is, click “confirm.”
7. Write down the PIN number because this is the other
   requirement to log in.
Write your PIN number here: ____________________
Write birth date here in the correct format: _ _ / _ _ / _ _ _

Preliminary 2: Download and install Adobe Digital

1. Go to
2. Scroll down and click “Launch.”
3. Follow the downloading and installation process by clicking “next” and “ok” buttons.

Note: Adobe Digital Editions is the digital rights management software controlling use of
Overdrive’s e-books. Getting Overdrive e-books on a e-reading device is a two step process.
   The first step is downloading Overdrive's e-books from their Web site into the Adobe Digital
    Editions software installed on the computer.
   The second step is using Adobe Digital Editions software to transfer Overdrive’s e-books
    from the computer to a Nook or Sony Reader.

Major step 1: Finding Overdrive e-books

 1. Go to
 2. Click “Explore Our Resources.”

 3. Scroll down to bottom of the page to below ----- Books ------- in the left column.
 4. Click the blue “Audiobooks, Music & More.”

5. Click “Sign In.”
6. If you have a Kansas Library Card, type in your PIN and your Date of birth following the
format: mm/dd/yyyy.
7. If you are a member of one of the libraries shown in the picture, you can type in your
library card number and your PIN for that library.

There are two ways of finding e-books.
8. First way: Quick search is on the top of the left-side menu
   a. In the search box, type in a word.
   b. Click the down arrow to choose either “Adobe EPUB eBooks” or “Adobe PDF eBooks.”
      Doing two searches, one for ePUB and one for PDF, would find everything available. Leaving
      the selection at “All Formats” will include thousands of audiobooks also available on this site.
   c. You may narrow the search by clicking the circular “radio buttons” in front of Title or Author.
   d. I recommend clicking the square “check box” in front of “only show available titles.”
   e. Click the “Search” button.
9. Second way: Scroll down the left-side menu to “eBook Nonfiction” and “eBook Fiction.”
   Pay attention!!!! You are browsing for eBooks, not audiobooks.

                         Tip: I prefer searching over browsing because I often discover when
                         browsing that all the good books on the first several pages have already
                         been checked out. Finding unchecked out e-books is quicker if you
                         search using the categories on the left and checking the box in front of
                         “Only show available titles.”

 Major step 2: Download Overdrive e-books to
10. On the far right, “Available copies: 1” shows the number of copies available for check out.
    When you want that title, click the “Add to cart.”
    “Available copies: 0” means no copies are available for check out. In this case, “place a hold”
    will be displayed. Clicking “place a hold” displays a page allowing you to type in your email
    address to be notified when the title becomes available for check out.

When you click “add to cart,” “My Cart” is displayed.
11. Near the bottom of the screen, clicking “Continue Browsing” returns to the list to select more e-
12. Clicking “Proceed to Checkout” goes to the next step of downloading e-book(s) to the computer.
13. On the far right, clicking “remove” deletes the title from this list.

14. On the left after “Lending period:”, click the down arrow to extend the checkout period from 7
    days to 14 days or 21 days. Since you can only check out 10 e-books at a time, checking out
    books for 7 days or 14 days would allow you to check out more books. On the other hand you
    can check in e-books anytime.
15. At the bottom of the screen, “Important notice” tells you how many e-books have been checked
    out and how many more can still check out.
16. When ready, click the “Confirm check out” button.

Clicking “Confirm check out” takes us to the download screen. Notice on the far right the check out
dates show 14 days and 21 days check out.

17. Open Adobe Digital Editions software for loading the e-books directly into that software.
18. On the left, click the “Download” button of the first title to download.
19. A window will pop up. Make sure the radio button in front of “Open with” is on. Make sure the
    software is “Adobe Digital Editions (default).” If it is not, click the down arrow on the far right
    side and find Adobe Digital Editions.
20. When ready, click the OK button. This loads the titles into Adobe Digital Editions on your

 Major step 3: Transfer Overdrive e-books to e-reading
As each title is downloaded into Adobe Digital Editions software, the software automatically displays
the e-book. This proves that the e-book has been completely downloaded.
21. To return to the list of downloaded e-book titles, click the “library” icon in the top left corner.

22. When all the titles are downloaded, connect the Nook or Sony Reader to the computer using the
    USB cord that came with the device.
   When the device is connected, the name of the device is listed at the end of the list on the left side.
   In the picture below, find “nook” at the bottom of the list.
23. Holding down the left mouse button drag the titles over onto the Nook or Sony Reader on the left.
    When you drag you will see a little cross. When the cross is over the Nook or Sony Reader the
    cross turns green. Release the mouse button. You will see the files being transferred.

Major step 4: Properly disconnect e-reading device
from computer

There are several ways of disconnecting. Here is what I

24. On Adobe Digital Editions software, in the upper
    right corner, click the red “X”.
25. When your Nook or Sony Reader is connected to
    your computer, a window pops up like the one
    shown on the right. Click the red “X” in the upper
    right corner to close the Nook or Sony Reader.
26. In the lower right corner of the computer screen is a
    little icon. Click the icon and, when a little window
    pops up, click the phrase that says, “Safely
    disconnect your device.”
27. A second window pops up in the middle of the
    computer screen saying that it is now OK to
    disconnect your device. Click OK and pull the cable
    from your e-reading device.

Major step 5: Viewing e-books on e-reading device

28. On the Nook’s touchscreen (shown below), if B & N titles are displayed, press with your finger
    “View My Documents.”
29. When “My Documents” is displayed, press with your finger “Check for new content.”
30. Look for the Overdrive titles.

View My Documents
View Item Details & Options                            ^
Check for new content                                          O
Sort by author                                         V
Open Audio Player

Free content for e-reading devices
The Web has many archives with tens of thousands of print books turned into e-books. That vast
majority of these books were published before 1924. Many are classics of fiction and nonfiction.
Some are obscure, but interesting, items. A few are written since 1924, but have been released
into the public domain for a variety of reasons.
Nook, Sony Reader and Kindle can use the following formats.
        Nooks: PDF, ePub, Nook's own format, and Overdrive’s versions of PDF and EPub
        Sony Reader: PDF, TXT, RTF, ePub, and PDF, Sony reader’s own format BBeB Book
         (LRF) and Overdrive’s versions of PDF and EPub
        Kobo: ePub, PDF, and Overdrive’s versions of PDF and EPub
        Kindles: PDF, Mobipocket and Kindle's own format
Tip: I generally recommend using ePub format for Nooks and Sony Readers and Mobipocket
format for Kindles. Watch out for pictures/images of printed pages. These may be readable on
large computer screens, but, on e-reading devices, the print is usually too small and the contrast
between the type and the background too low for easy reading.

Recommended online archives
       Munseys ( offers 20,000 e-books in 12 formats. The
        recommended formats for Kindles, Nooks and Sony Readers are clearly identified. Titles can
        be found by searching author, title or tags. Lots of books have tags, most don’t. You can also
        scroll down to a red box with 39 categories for browsing. “Pulp fiction” and “orient express”
        are interesting and unique categories. Tip: When downloading a title, first click “Select One”
        to choose the desired format, then click “download.”
       Palimpsest Online ( provides high-
        quality pdf titles by over 70 classic and popular authors. Titles are mostly European and
        American serious novels, but also include the King James Bible, plays, poetry, fables, epic
        sagas, philosophy and histories. Extensive collection of P.G. Wodehouse titles. The numbers
        "6X9" refers to 6 inches by 9 inches. The other size is "3X5" for 3 inches by 5 inches. These
        sizes make a difference in printing, but I see no difference on my Nook.
       Feedbooks ( provides high-quality titles in a variety of formats: ePub,
        PDF, MobiPocket/Kindle. This site contains
         o Public domain classic fiction and nonfiction titles can be browsed by 30 categories or
           60 authors
         o Titles by new authors
       Manybooks ( provides thousands of Project Gutenberg ebooks in
        dozens of formats including PDF, ePub, Kindle, Sony Reader, etc. The site offers search,
        advanced searching and browsing by author, title, and over 60 genres.
       PDFBooks ( offers classics and unpublished fiction and nonfiction in
        pdf format. Titles can be searched or browsed by author. The Web page for each title gives a
        description and table of contents.
   DigitalBookIndex ( offers an extensive
    list of nonfiction in pdf, ePub and even Kindle formats mixed with Web books and even
    some subscription titles. Search by author or title or browse by subject.

Online indexes of almost everything

There are hundreds more Web archives storing text. These holdings of these archives are listed in
the indexes below. Owners of Kindles, Nooks and Sony Readers, however, must have patience
using these indexes because many texts are in formats, primarily html, their devices will not
Project Gutenburg ( combines an archive of texts
produced by volunteers with an index of other archives. The index can be searched and browsed
by author or title. Volunteers have created “bookshelves” with lists of e-books grouped by their
own idiosyncratic definitions, e.g., "best books ever" and "precursors of science fiction."
Advanced searched allows narrowing by format, e.g. epub.
Inte rnet Archive ( is another archive and index of e-books.
This archive offers simple and advanced searching, but no browsing capabilities. Each title has a
unique page offering complete title, author and publisher information, a description of the
content, and, on the left-side, links to the variety for formats available for that title. Other areas
of this index include "moving images," audio recordings, and software.
Online Book Page is one of the largest and most comprehensive of these indexes. Titles can be
searched by author and title and browsed by subjects, which is actually browsing by Library of
Congress call number or subject term.

Downloading free e-books into a Nook
1. Connect your Nook to your computer using the USB cable.
   This pops up the window #1.
2. Click “Open folder to view files.” This will display
   Window #2 below. The folder “My Documents” is where
   these free e-books go. (The folder “Digital Editions” is
   where Overdrive e-books are placed. “My B&N
   downloads” are where e-books purchased from Barnes &
   Noble’s online store are.)
3. Go to one of the Web sites described onb pages 13 and 14.
4. Find a desired title.
5. Download the titles in either EPUB or PDF
6. Save the e-book on your desktop.
7. Minimize or close the Web browser and, if necessary,
   Window #2 to see the desktop with the downloaded e-
   books and Window.
8. Holding down the Control <Ctrl> key, click on the e-books
   you want on your Nook.
9. Hold down the right mouse button and drag the e-books on      Window #2
   the desktop to the “My Documents” folder.
10. After putting the e-books on the “My Documents” folder a
    Window pops up, click “Move here.” This will copy the
    selected e-books into “My Documents.”
11. When all ebooks on the desktop are copied into “My
    Documents,” properly disconnect the Nook from the
    computer by
   A. Clicking the “red” X in the upper right corner of the
      window displaying the Nook folders.
   B. Clicking the icon in the lower right corner and clicking
      “ Safely disconnect device from computer.”
   C. When a window pops up in the middle of the screen,
      click the “OK” button.
12. Disconnect the USB cables from the Nook.
13. On the Nook’s touchscreen, press “View My Documents.”
14. When the “My Documents” list is displayed, then, on the
    Nook’s touchscreen, press “Check for new content.” This
    immediately displays “Processing…” on this line.
15. When “Processing” disappears, go find the new e-book

Using Calibre to make free e-books for e-reading
Calibre is a wonderful, free software for managing e-books on Nooks, Kindles, Sony Readers and
the growing number of other e-reading devices. This software is available at http://calibre- The Web site contains great introductory video and useful users manual.

Below are illustrated, step-by-step instructions showing:
1. How to put an e-book as a Web page into Calibre.
2. How to use Calibre to edit the title and author “metadata” so it will show in your device.
3. How to use Calibre to format the text for reading on your device. I am using a Nook, but Calibre
   can format text for more than a dozen different devices including Kindle and Sony Reader.
4. How to use Calibre to load the e-book into your device.
As you become familiar with the process, doing all the steps will take only a minute or two each e-
E-books presented as Web pages is common. The example below is a Web page e-book in Alex
Catalogue of Electronic Texts at
To find the example, I clicked “Browse by title” until I saw The Life of General Francis Marion by
M. L. Weems.

The instructions start showing the Web page displaying the entire book on that page.

Notice the Web address ends with “htm,” showing that this is a Web page. The Web addresses of Web
page e-books end in “html” or “htm.” The Web page shown does not look like a e-book. The book part
can be seen if you scroll down.

We can not load Web pages into our e-
reading devices. So we are going to begin
by copying the text and pasting it into
1. Press Control <Ctrl> <a> to highlight
   all the text on the Web page. This turns
   the text blue.
2. Press Control <Ctrl> <c> to copy all the
   blue highlighted text.
The text of the e-book is now stored in the
computer’s memory.
3. Open Notepad.
   A. On the lower left corner of your computer click “Start.”
   B. Move to “Accessories.”
   C. Click on “Notepad.” Pay Attention!!!! Click “Notepad,” not “Wordpad.”
4. Click in the blank area of Notepad.
5. Press Control <Ctrl> <v> to paste the copied text into Notepad.

We are now going to save the e-book as a “text”
6. I always highlight the title of the e-book.
7. Press Control <Ctrl> <c> to copy the title.
8. On the Main Menu, click File -> Save As to
   display the screen on the right.
9. I click “Desktop” to tell the computer where to
   save the file.
10. In filename are, I highlight the “*”.
11. Press Control <Ctrl> <v> to paste the title over
    the “*”. The filename becomes: name of
12. Click the “Save” button.

 13. Open Calibre.
 14. In the upper left corner, click the down arrow beside “Add books” to drop down a menu.
 15. Click “Add books from a single directory.” This opens a window to find the e-book.

16. Click “Desktop” to get to the location
    where the e-book is.
17. Scroll down to find the e-book.
18. Click the e-book to highlight. If you have
    a bunch of e-books, holding down the
    Control <Ctrl> key allows you to click to
    highlight a number of titles.
19. At the bottom of the window, click the
    “Open” button.
This will load the e-book into Calibre.

The title is now listed at the top of the list of e-books in Calibre.
The author is missing from the listing.
Since I like to have both the titles and authors displayed, I am going to add the author.
This is optional. If you don’t care whether the author is displayed, then feel free to skip this part.
20. Since I can not remember the author’s name, I went to the desktop and clicked on the ebook
    to open Notepad and see the e-book. This is shown below on the left.
21. I highlighted the author’s name.
22. Press Control <Ctrl> <c> to copy the author’s name into the computer’s memory.
23. In Calibre, right-click anywhere on the e-book line. This opens a menu.
24. Left-click “Edit meta information.”
25. Click “Edit metadata individually.” This opens the editing window shown at the very bottom.

26. On the editing screen, click in the
    “Author(s)” box.
27. Press Control <Ctrl> <v> to paste in
    the author’s name.
    Boxes further down allow you to add
    publishers and publication dates.
28. When finished, click the “Ok” button
    at the bottom of the page.

We are now ready to format the e-book for
our device.

29. To format the e-book for your
    device, click “Convert eBooks”
    button. If you hold down the Control
    <Ctrl> key you can click on many
    titles. Calibre will then convert many
    eBooks at once.

   When you install Calibre software,
   the set up asks you to identify the
   devices you own. This allows
   Calibre to automatically to change
   text to the appropriate format.

30. Clicking “Convert eBooks” opens
    window may pop up shown below.
    You can make changes before
    clicking the “OK” button.
31. Click “Send to device” to load the e-
    book into the device.
32. Properly disconnect the device from
    the computer following the
    directions given above.

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