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Old 08-27-2010, 11:39 AM   #1
branchedout
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Getting ebooks from a library, how does it work?

Hi there. I'm in Louisiana. A very.... Well. Not-pro-reading area.

But, I plan on getting a Kindle 3 around the end of September.
And, I don't quite want to pay for books, to be honest. Which is what strayed me from getting an e-reader altogether.

Until I heard of.... Libraries...Doing ebooks?! That means I can read some of the newer stuff for free! Awesome!

I went over to this "Overdrive" site and typed in my zipcode and.... No libraries within 100 miles. Waitaminute. I gotta go TO the library to get an ebook? Crazy. But I typed in my address to my parents house, and there was a library 60 miles away from it! Obviously, physical locations are NOT the way I can do it.


But maybe I don't understand how this "ebook from library" thing works.


I like Louisiana, I do. But sometimes it's so behind the times on technology, while I'm such a technophile! My city doesn't even have public busses. And it's a college town!
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Old 08-27-2010, 11:47 AM   #2
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If there are no libraries in your area that offer ebooks The Free Library of Philadelphia offers cards to out of state residents for $15 a year. All checkout and downloading can be done from the comfort of your own computer.

The Kindle might not be the best choice if you're primarily wanting to use a library as Overdrive and Kindle don't support each other. You might want to look at the Nook, a Sony or one of the other readers out there as most of them support Adobe encrypted books which is what the library books generally are.
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:19 PM   #3
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As AnemicOak says, the Kindle is not a good choice for library books; you want an device that supports ePub books, since most library books will be in ePub format.

The way it works is that you "check out" a book and download it to your reader. You can read it for typically two weeks, after which time it "expires" and stops working. If you finish it more quickly, you can "return" it to the library, thus allowing you to check out another book more quickly.
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:36 PM   #4
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As both other responders have said, don't get the Kindle if you want to do library ebooks. Overdrive is not compatible with the Kindle. I purchased a Sony PRS-300 (about the same price as the Kindle 3) for my brother so he could do library ebooks.

How it usually works: you'll need a library card with the library (or library system) that handles the ebooks. I am thinking of making a trip to Columbus, Ohio to get a library card there (open to all Ohio residents free of charge) so I can use their ebook system. There are some libraries that will allow non-resident access to their systems if you pay an annual fee.

See this thread for further information.

Once you have the card, you log on to their website, 'check out' the book and load it onto your ereader. Typically, it'll 'expire' (ie - stop working) after about 3 weeks, or whatever the checkout period is.

Last edited by queentess; 08-27-2010 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:46 PM   #5
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Oh. About the kindle. I'll use Calibre to convert or strip DRM.

But thanks for the links guys, I'll most definately look into those options! 15 dollars for a year of checkouts? Very doable.

Edit: Looked around their selection and got very excited! I'll probably sign up in two weeks!
My moral ethics aren't quite up to par, but I don't plan on sharing or uploading anything I make Kindle-friendly.

Last edited by branchedout; 08-27-2010 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:48 PM   #6
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Yep, Branchout, the Kindle will present problems as described by the last three posters. Sometimes, you can take an ePub or even a PDF file and convert it (for better or worse) to Mobi for use in the Kindle. The problem is, of course, that Library books carry a DRM padlock. There are ways and means of stripping that even from library ebooks, I guess (not sure), but they're fiddly and only borderline legal so we can't dscuss that subject openly here. Good luck and best wishes. Neil
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Old 08-27-2010, 01:22 PM   #7
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No problem Neilmarr. I've located a DRM-stripper. Though I don't want to say anything to get MobileRead in trouble, the site's helped me out a lot! (Yes. I got like 7 posts. But there's a wealth of information here!)

Thanks guys. I think I got all the answers I need. And so fast, too!
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Old 08-27-2010, 01:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by branchedout View Post
Edit: Looked around their selection and got very excited!
They're also very good about adding more books to their collection.
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:22 PM   #9
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It is worth noting, though, that for "bestsellers", library eBooks can (and do) have a "waiting list", just a like a paper book does, so a library is not the solution for all reading needs.
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:30 PM   #10
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branchedout, you dont mention which parish you or your parents live but almost all parishes have reciprocal agreements with neighboring ones.

The East Baton Rouge Parish library has a large ebook selection (over 4000) ... more than Philadelphia's and offer non-residents a card but dont state which parishes so you may need to call.
http://www.ebr.lib.la.us/

Also, I noticed Shreveport has a modest (1500 with half fiction) ebook selection and participates in their GreenGold system.
http://www.greengoldlibraries.org/index.htm
http://www.shreve-lib.org/

It appears the northeast part of Louisiana has no offerings as far as I can tell. Again the reciprocal and non-resident option may be available.

Also, Calcasieu Parish has about 1200 fiction ebooks and part of the Southwest library system.
http://www.beau.lib.la.us/lib/lsw/index.html

Last edited by Fbone; 08-27-2010 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:35 PM   #11
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I have the TB augen I go to the library all the time for epub and pdf

I have no trouble reading them

I have 3 libraries in New Mexico sites and also go Penn (phil) have 10,000 books

the only thing I do not know how to read is a wma file


Thank you guys

Keep Smiling


Jim
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Old 08-27-2010, 04:16 PM   #12
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WMA files are audiobooks for listening - you need to play them on a compatible device; just as Kindles will not read Epub library books, iPod-brand players cannot read WMA files, although some library audiobooks are available in mp3 format, which are okay for iPods.
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Old 08-27-2010, 04:31 PM   #13
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Amazon offers a conversion service - even free of charge if you send it to your @free.amazon.com account - will that work for library books? Could I borrow an Epub book from a library, send it to Amazon and receive a readable AZW file to my Kindle?
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Old 08-27-2010, 04:50 PM   #14
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Re: WMA audiobooks

My library actually advertises those as being "iPod compatible". What this actually means is that the Overdrive software has a built-in converter that will turn the downloaded WMA files into MP3 files for putting onto the iPod. But it's a horrible hassle, requires a Windows computer, and takes hours, even for a fairly short audiobook.

Re: @free.kindle.com conversion service.

Not really. ePub is not on the list of accepted file formats for conversion, though PDF is. You'd be better off downloading Amazon's Kindlegen command-line utility, which can convert directly from ePub to mobi, though you might run into some errors along the way and have to open up the ePub and fix the OPF.

One common issue is something that I see from Calibre-generated ePubs, where the dc:language field is set to UND (presumably meaning "undefined"). That will cause Kindlegen to choke and refuse to go any further until it's dealt with.
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Old 08-27-2010, 04:57 PM   #15
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branchedout, you dont mention which parish you or your parents live but almost all parishes have reciprocal agreements with neighboring ones.

The East Baton Rouge Parish library has a large ebook selection (over 4000) ... more than Philadelphia's and offer non-residents a card but dont state which parishes so you may need to call.
http://www.ebr.lib.la.us/

Also, I noticed Shreveport has a modest (1500 with half fiction) ebook selection and participates in their GreenGold system.
http://www.greengoldlibraries.org/index.htm
http://www.shreve-lib.org/

It appears the northeast part of Louisiana has no offerings as far as I can tell. Again the reciprocal and non-resident option may be available.

Also, Calcasieu Parish has about 1200 fiction ebooks and part of the Southwest library system.
http://www.beau.lib.la.us/lib/lsw/index.html


Oh wow. Didn't think someone would go out of their way!

But, I live in Lincoln Parish, and I rarely visit my parents 90 miles away in Rapides Parish.
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