Everything You Wanted to Know About E-Books But Didn't Know How to Ask

cartoon man surrounded by E-readers
There has been an explosion in the popularity of e-books, driven by the boom of e-readers as gifts. They’re one of the top electronic devices purchased during Christmas season. As patrons receive e-readers as gifts the e-book becomes an essential part of the experience.

Most e-readers can hold 1,000 to 3,500 books; e-books cost less than new hardcover versions and many classic titles that are out of copyright are available free of charge. The text size of e-readers can easily be adjusted making the e-book more user-friendly to older readers.

E-books are checked out with rules similar to those of traditional library books. They do have time limits and, in most cases, they are checked out one book at a time. Patrons may reserve titles that are currently checked out.

To check out an e-book simply:
  • Go the library downloadable website (http://downloadable.jclc.org)
  • Log in using your library card number
  • Select the e-book
  • Check it out
  • Download the title to your e-reader or simple reserve it
When using a PC, Mac, or laptop you’ll need to download Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) first—this is a one-time download. The link is displayed next to the title when the title is ready for download. ADE is the e-book-to-personal computer connection interface that allows the e-book to be read on the computer or laptop. When the title is downloaded, ADE is opened and the title downloaded to it. To get the title onto an e-reader, using ADE simply connect the e-reader to the PC/laptop via the USB port and drag the e-book from its location in the ADE window to the e-reader shown at the bottom left of the screen.

For tablets and smartphones, the OverDrive app from your app store must be downloaded to the device. When completed, proceed as directed for the PC. When the download is complete, the title is loaded directly onto the mobile device.

For the Kindle, the user proceeds as described above for PCs, but selects a Kindle-specific title. The user is then transferred to the Kindle site to complete the download wirelessly.

In all instances the user must have a download account. The user will be given simple instructions for creating an account (or log in if an account already exists).

E-books automatically return when the checkout period expires and they cannot be renewed. The e-book must be checked in and, if no one is waiting for it, can be checked back out again. E-books can also be returned early.

As a member of the Jefferson County Library Cooperative (JCLC), the BPL has access to more than 6,000 titles for your reading pleasure.