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How to use OverDrive Read, OverDrive's browser-based eBook reader

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The idea behind our browser-based reading experience (OverDrive Read) is simple. When you see a book you like, you can start reading it with just a single click. We call this, "see book, read book," and it opens up all sorts of possibilities.

Since OverDrive Read uses HTML5, most current web browsers are compatible. You can read on your computer (Windows, Mac, or Linux), your phone (iOS 5+ or Android 2.3+), and your tablet (iOS 5+ or Android 2.3+). Your reading progress and bookmarks will sync and show up on whatever device you open an OverDrive Read book on. You can read more about compatibility here.

Try an OverDrive Read sample now to see how it works.

How do I use OverDrive Read?

When you click or tap Read next to a title on your bookshelf or open an eBook sample, it will open in a new tab in your browser.

Click or tap the right or left edges of the eBook to turn pages.

Click or tap and hold a word to access definitions, notes, and highlights.

Click or tap the bookmark icon in the upper-left to save your position.

Screenshot showing a bookmarked page

On larger screens, the menu shows up on the right. On smaller screens, the menu will be hidden. If this is the case, swipe down from (or click on) the top of the page to show the menu.

Screenshot showing the OverDrive Read menu open on a smaller screen

Select a navigation button to jump to a section of the menu. Use the Menu toggle to show or hide the menus.

Screenshot of the OverDrive Read navigation menu

Use the table of contents to navigate quickly through an eBook.

Screenshot showing a table of contents

Select Bookmarks & Highlights to navigate bookmarks, highlights, and notes you've placed in an eBook.

Screenshot showing the bookmarks and highlights panel

You can use search to look up a word or phrase from within the eBook text.

Screenshot showing example search results

Change the readability options to control how an eBook is displayed.

Screenshot of readability panel

  • Use the "Text scale" slider to adjust the size of the text within an eBook.
  • Select either day or night mode under "Lighting."
  • Tap or click the down arrow to expand the "Book design" options.
    Screenshot of expanded readability panel
  • Tap or click through the various book designs to find the one you like.
    Note: If you're looking for a sepia option, make sure the Daylight option is off and select Paperback.
  • If you prefer to create your own book design, select DIY.
    Screenshot of custom book design options

Download a book so you can read it in your browser offline later.

Screenshot showing the download option for an OverDrive Read eBook

A few things to keep in mind

OverDrive recommends Google Chrome as a strong HTML5 browser (great for OverDrive Read) that works across multiple platforms.

If you're using Internet Explorer with OverDrive Read, you may be prompted with the option to install an alternative browser when opening an eBook. If you prefer, you can also choose to use OverDrive Read Basic, a reduced-feature version of OverDrive Read.

Last Updated: Jul 14, 2014 03:59PM EDT

How to use OverDrive Read, OverDrive's browser-based eBook reader

print it

The idea behind our browser-based reading experience (OverDrive Read) is simple. When you see a book you like, you can start reading it with just a single click. We call this, "see book, read book," and it opens up all sorts of possibilities.

Since OverDrive Read uses HTML5, most current web browsers are compatible. You can read on your computer (Windows, Mac, or Linux), your phone (iOS 5+ or Android 2.3+), and your tablet (iOS 5+ or Android 2.3+). Your reading progress and bookmarks will sync and show up on whatever device you open an OverDrive Read book on. You can read more about compatibility here.

Try an OverDrive Read sample now to see how it works.

How do I use OverDrive Read?

When you click or tap Read next to a title on your bookshelf or open an eBook sample, it will open in a new tab in your browser.

Click or tap the right or left edges of the eBook to turn pages.

Click or tap and hold a word to access definitions, notes, and highlights.

Click or tap the bookmark icon in the upper-left to save your position.

Screenshot showing a bookmarked page

On larger screens, the menu shows up on the right. On smaller screens, the menu will be hidden. If this is the case, swipe down from (or click on) the top of the page to show the menu.

Screenshot showing the OverDrive Read menu open on a smaller screen

Select a navigation button to jump to a section of the menu. Use the Menu toggle to show or hide the menus.

Screenshot of the OverDrive Read navigation menu

Use the table of contents to navigate quickly through an eBook.

Screenshot showing a table of contents

Select Bookmarks & Highlights to navigate bookmarks, highlights, and notes you've placed in an eBook.

Screenshot showing the bookmarks and highlights panel

You can use search to look up a word or phrase from within the eBook text.

Screenshot showing example search results

Change the readability options to control how an eBook is displayed.

Screenshot of readability panel

  • Use the "Text scale" slider to adjust the size of the text within an eBook.
  • Select either day or night mode under "Lighting."
  • Tap or click the down arrow to expand the "Book design" options.
    Screenshot of expanded readability panel
  • Tap or click through the various book designs to find the one you like.
    Note: If you're looking for a sepia option, make sure the Daylight option is off and select Paperback.
  • If you prefer to create your own book design, select DIY.
    Screenshot of custom book design options

Download a book so you can read it in your browser offline later.

Screenshot showing the download option for an OverDrive Read eBook

A few things to keep in mind

OverDrive recommends Google Chrome as a strong HTML5 browser (great for OverDrive Read) that works across multiple platforms.

If you're using Internet Explorer with OverDrive Read, you may be prompted with the option to install an alternative browser when opening an eBook. If you prefer, you can also choose to use OverDrive Read Basic, a reduced-feature version of OverDrive Read.

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