OverDrive Read allows you to read books in your web browser. This FAQ contains information for readers, publishers, libraries, and schools about how this works (and why it’s so convenient and easy).

To find out whether your smart phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer is compatible with OverDrive Read, use our compatibility guide.


What is OverDrive Read?

OverDrive Read is a new way of reading eBooks from your web browser. Reading in a web browser means that you can read eBooks without the need for downloads or special software on a smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Try it now with a sample from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling.

Where is OverDrive Read available?

You can sample and read titles in OverDrive Read through a library’s digital collection. Search overdrive.com to find a library near you.

Can I read an OverDrive Read eBook if I’m not connected to the internet?

Yes. In the OverDrive Read menu, you’ll find an option to Download the eBook you’re reading to your browser’s cache. Once it’s saved, it can be viewed anytime, even when not connected to the internet. Be sure to bookmark or save the URL so that you can easily return to the eBook later.

If you clear your cache or delete temporary internet files, you will need an internet connection to open and download (or cache) the eBook again.

Can OverDrive Read samples be shared on social networks?

Sharing the web address of an eBook you’re reading will provide your friends with a sample for the same book. So, with a text, Tweet, or Facebook post, you can let your friends in on what you’re reading instantly. Keep in mind, only the person with the title checked out will be able to read the complete book.

Is my reading progress saved and synced between devices for OverDrive Read eBooks?

Yes. OverDrive Read automatically saves your reading progress and bookmarks. This allows you to return to your reading quickly and continue from where you left off.

An internet connection is required to sync your reading progress and bookmarks between devices. If you’re reading offline, your progress is saved on whichever browser you are using. Your progress will automatically sync the next time you open a title in the same browser with an active internet connection.

What app or software is required?

There’s no need to download or install any new software. OverDrive Read works with the web browser on your phone, tablet, or computer.

Is there a mobile version of OverDrive Read?

OverDrive Read utilizes responsive design so eBooks display appropriately on any size screen–computer, tablet, or phone.

Do I need an Adobe® ID?

No. All you need is your library card and PIN (if your library requires a PIN). Additional IDs or login credentials are not necessary to use OverDrive Read.

Can I change the text size or background color of a title in OverDrive Read?

Yes. The menus in OverDrive Read allow you to optimize your experience by adjusting font size, font style, background color, and even the line spacing. See our help page for detailed instructions.

Can I search for specific text inside a book?

Yes. You can search the text of any OverDrive Read title that you’ve borrowed. See our help page for detailed instructions.

Can I print an eBook with OverDrive Read?

No. OverDrive Read eBooks cannot be printed at this time.

Can I copy and paste text from an eBook with OverDrive Read?

No. OverDrive Read does not currently support the ability to copy text from an eBook and paste it elsewhere.

How do I get back to a book once I’ve closed my browser?

You can get back to your OverDrive Read eBook through your library’s online bookshelf or by bookmarking an eBook in your web browser. Bookmarking a title, or adding it to your browser favorites, allows you to easily return to an eBook even when you’re not connected to the internet (as long as you don’t delete your temporary internet files or clear your browser cache).

Can I return a book before the lending period is over?

Yes. OverDrive Read eBooks can be returned at any time as long as you haven’t downloaded the title in another format. If they are, then you may have to use an app like OverDrive Media Console or Adobe® Digital Editions to return the title.

Can I still download eBooks and audiobooks like I always have?

Yes. OverDrive Read will not change the way our other services work. We’re just adding OverDrive Read as a format to expand your options and increase compatibility across the board.

What if I wanted to switch from reading in OverDrive Read to Adobe® Digital Editions or OverDrive’s mobile app?

You can return to your digital bookshelf and choose to read your eBook in a different format. A list of available formats for each eBook can be found next to every borrowed title on your Bookshelf.

Please remember that reading progress and bookmarks do not transfer to the new format.

What devices and browsers are compatible with OverDrive Read?

OverDrive Read will allow you to read books online and offline with most devices using a modern web browser. For more details, see our compatibility page.

Libraries and Schools

How will OverDrive Read benefit schools and libraries?

OverDrive Read is a point-and-click reading experience that works with current web browsers found on computers, tablets, and mobile devices. Users do not need to install extra software or register an Adobe® ID. Simply log into an OverDrive bookshelf and start reading immediately in the browser.

Try it now with a sample from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling.

Does OverDrive Read change the way other OverDrive services work?

All your OverDrive services and reading options will continue to work as they do today. We’ve simply added OverDrive Read for an easier and more accessible way for your users to enjoy eBooks on any device.

How much does OverDrive Read cost?

OverDrive Read is included with the services you already have, expanding and optimizing your readers' choices and experiences on almost any device. If you’ve purchased an EPUB eBook that’s also available in OverDrive Read (and most are), then your users will have access to those Read titles automatically.

What happens to the EPUB eBooks that I’ve already purchased? Do I have to buy the OverDrive Read versions now?

The majority of the EPUB eBooks in your collection can now be viewed with OverDrive Read at no additional cost. Your readers can choose the format they would like to read when from their OverDrive library bookshelf. They’ll still have the option to download the EPUB.

What training is required for OverDrive Read?

OverDrive Read is simple and straightforward, requiring no additional software or registration. The intuitive design reduces the need for lengthy demonstrations, extensive training materials, and involvement from your network administrator or IT staff.

How do I borrow an eBook with OverDrive Read?

OverDrive Read titles show up on an account bookshelf, just like any other checked out digital titles.

To read borrowed eBooks with OverDrive Read, log in and click on the Read button next to the book on the Bookshelf to start reading.

How can I direct a person to a specific book in OverDrive Read?

Every OverDrive Read eBook has a unique URL. If you’d like to share an eBook sample with someone, or post it on a social media website, simply share the URL for the full title. Only users with proper credentials (someone who has borrowed the eBook) will be able to read the complete eBook while everyone else gets a sample.

Do PDF titles work with OverDrive Read?

Not at this time.

Are interactive white boards compatible with OverDrive Read?

Generally, you can expect interactive white boards to display OverDrive Read as well as it does any webpage.

However, if you experience issues with OverDrive Read on an interactive white board, please check to see that you have the latest drivers provided by the manufacturer installed and try again. If you are still unable to use your interactive white board, please contact us.


How does OverDrive Read work?

OverDrive Read displays eBooks in web browsers using responsive HTML5 and CSS3. Each eBook can be accessed and read on smartphones, tablets, computers and any other device with an up-to-date web browser.

No downloads are necessary. Read titles are stored in the cloud and eBooks are accessed the same way you’d access any other website. Read titles can be downloaded (cached) so that they can be read with or without internet access later.

Try it now with a sample from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling.

Are OverDrive Read eBooks protected by DRM?

OverDrive utilizes Digital Rights Management (DRM) through identity authentication and other industry security standards without exposing the file behind the eBook.

Can text be copied and pasted from OverDrive Read?

Unless specifically requested from a publisher, text from an eBook displayed in OverDrive Read cannot be copied.

Can readers download EPUB files from OverDrive Read?

EPUBs cannot be downloaded through OverDrive Read as our security features protect the integrity of the source files. OverDrive Read is its own format and cannot generate downloadable EPUB files. Though each eBook is currently sourced from EPUB content, the original EPUB is not linked to a title once it reaches OverDrive Read servers.

Can eBooks be shared on the internet with OverDrive Read?

Full titles cannot be shared online, but users can share samples using the URL for any OverDrive Read eBook.

Where can I see a demo of OverDrive Read?

Visit read.overdrive.com to see samples of OverDrive Read in action. Additionally, OverDrive Read can be seen in digital collections at libraries around the world. Visit overdrive.com to find a library near you.

Can I build a promotional site using OverDrive Read?

OverDrive Read’s browser-based design and automatic sample generation allow for easy website construction. You can create an instant preview for any promotion by embedding the sample URL for an eBook on your website.

Can I use OverDrive Read in social media and email campaigns?

Share an OverDrive Read sample URL to provide a direct link to a preview of an eBook for social media and email campaigns. Then, users can instantly view part of the title you’re promoting on their desktop, tablet, or mobile device.

What formats can be uploaded to the OverDrive Read platform?

OverDrive Read is compatible with EPUB files. Using OverDrive as a distributor of your eBooks will automatically expand your reader base to include this new browser-based reading experience.

What is maximum file size supported for each OverDrive Read title?

50 megabytes (MB) is the maximum file size that can be displayed in OverDrive Read at this time. We expect the maximum size to increase over time.

How do I get my publication into OverDrive Read?

Simply upload your EPUBs to OverDrive just as you have in the past. We will convert them into the OverDrive Read format and make them available in Content Reserve.

If you are not currently an OverDrive partner, you can fill out an application on our website.

Is any special preparation needed for my EPUB files?

No. As long as your content is EPUB compliant, it will be automatically converted to display in OverDrive Read.

How do I tell if my document or content is EPUB compliant?

There are several free tools available online that will help you discover whether or not your document is already EPUB compatible. Epubcheck is a good place to start. It detects errors in code that could cause trouble in an EPUB file.

What if there is a problem with a file that causes a title to display incorrectly in OverDrive Read?

Once a problem has been identified with a file, OverDrive will identify the source of the issue. If the file needs to be resupplied, our content team will contact you to request replacement source.

How does OverDrive ensure that only authenticated users can access a particular book?

OverDrive Read requires user authentication with an email address and password (or library card and PIN) before a user can access protected content. Once a user is positively identified, OverDrive Read’s DRM uses time-sensitive contextual locks to verify that all content requests originate from the authenticated client.

Retailers and OEMs

What can OverDrive Read do for retailers, resellers, and OEMs?

OverDrive Read is a new way of reading eBooks from your web browser. Reading in a web browser means that you can enjoy eBooks without the need for downloads or special software on a smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Try it now with a sample from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling.

You can sell OverDrive Read titles through the same services OverDrive uses today for distribution and sales of EPUB files and audiobooks.

Who is using OverDrive Read now? Where can I see it in action?

OverDrive Read can be seen in digital library and school collections across the world. Visit overdrive.com to find a library near you to see OverDrive Read in live environment. You can also see OverDrive Read samples at read.overdrive.com/.

How can I promote titles with OverDrive Read?

Share an OverDrive Read sample URL to provide social media and email campaigns with a direct link to an eBook sample. Then, users can instantly view part of the title you’re promoting on their desktop, tablet, or mobile device.

Do all OverDrive read titles come with samples?

Every title in OverDrive Read is automatically provided with a sample, allowing buyers the opportunity to preview their purchase. You can share a sample using the URL for the full copy of an OverDrive Read eBook. Only authorized customers would be able to read the full title.

Can OverDrive Read be branded?

OverDrive Read is a brandable solution for reading eBooks. Your particular brand and messaging can be added to your own customized version of OverDrive Read.

What kind of set up do my customers have to go through?

OverDrive Read is a browser-based reading experience that works with current web browsers found on computers, tablets, and mobile devices. There is no software to install, no transferring of files, and no need for Adobe® registration. Readers simply log into their OverDrive bookshelf and start reading straight from the browser.