My Love Affair with OverDrive

Last week I grabbed brunch with a college friend I hadn’t seen in a few months. There was a lot to discuss as she had recently gotten engaged and also accepted a new job. As we chatted about rings and work hours, my friend asked me what I had been up to lately. I talked about my job and the trip I had taken to Washington, D.C. and then I told her I recently started keeping a habit tracker. “I was inspired by a book I just read called The Power of Habit.” As I described the book, my friend commented that she wished she had more time to read.

That was all it took. With those magic words wishing for more time, I began my pitch: “Have you tried OverDrive?” She hadn’t. My face lit up as I explained to her that OverDrive is an app that allows anyone with a library card to effortlessly rent ebooks and audiobooks on their devices. And used correctly, it can turn even the busiest person into a well-read bibliophile.

I know this because last year I decided to read fifty-two books. Although I have always loved reading, it was now a rare occasion I picked up a book that was not part of a syllabus. Why I decided to take on such a lofty goal with my already hectic schedule is still beyond me. But if successful people like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates were avid readers, then it was worth a try. But one thing was certain, I couldn’t have done it without OverDrive.

No Late Fees

Traditional libraries don’t work for me. They often close before I get off work and I procrastinate returning books until I accumulate late fees that make me embarrassed to rent again. With OverDrive, however, I was able to rent ebooks and audiobooks with the click of a button at any time of day or night. When the due date arrived, the books magically disappeared from my device, never costing a cent. And if I didn’t have time to browse through thousands of books, I could consult OverDrive’s conveniently curated “Most Popular” collections.

Scroll Pages, Not Posts

My reading time started small. Instead of checking social media before bed, I read books on my phone. Gradually, I listened to audiobooks on my commute to work and at the gym, trying to take my mind off that last half mile. I even read while waiting for my name to be called at Starbucks. Eventually I started to replace all those moments people pulled out their phones and scrolled mindlessly through Instagram with reading. As long as I had my phone, I had my books. There was no excuse and all those minutes and pages quickly added up.

Inbox Surprises

OverDrive also motivated me to actually read what I borrowed. When a book became available, OverDrive emailed me that my “digital hold has been automatically checked out.” These emails were literally gifts in my inbox! OverDrive’s expiration countdown was also helpful as I often raced against the clock to finish a book before it expired.

The advantages and value of reading more is well-known and documented but many of us think we simply don’t have the time to read. OverDrive, however, channels the amazing breadth of public library systems and gives people the access, time and motivation needed to turn even the busiest of people into avid readers.

Now I just need to try out OverDrive’s new app Libby. Let me know in the comments if you love OverDrive or have tried out Libby yet!


4 thoughts on “My Love Affair with OverDrive

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    1. I love getting notifications for books on hold! If the book is really popular, sometimes it will be a month or so until the book gets to me, and by then I have usually forgotten about it, so it is an extra treat!

      What have been some of your favorite Audiobooks? The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion was particularly good because of the Australian narrator.

      Liked by 1 person

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