Friday, February 25, 2011
From the Library to Your iPad - Via OverDrive
First problem encountered: how to make the Harris County Public Library system "save" so that I don't have to search for it every time I start the software? After much trial and error, I find that I don't have to save, but I do have to log-in at each new start with my 14-digit library card number (a number I use so often that I have somehow committed it to memory).
Second problem encountered: there are very, very few books available these days; each choice requires the book to be placed on hold for later notification from the library when it becomes available. Since the system only has one or two copies of each book, that could take months.
Third problem encountered: when I finally found a nonfiction book called Orange Is the New Black that was actually available (about a woman who was sent to prison for a crime she had committed in her youth, some ten years earlier), I got the title all the way to "checkout," pushed download, and was told that I needed to authorize my iPad through the Adobe website in order to use their software to complete the download.
Fourth problem encountered: after finally remembering my sign-in and pass word (set up months earlier to authorize the Sony Reader), I finally got the iPad authorized, and the book downloaded.
Fifth problem encountered: opening the book - not nearly as simple or intuitive a process as one might imagine, but I finally got there.
So now I have a 375-page book on loan to my iPad for 14 days, after which time the file will self-corrupt and become unreadable. Isn't technology great?
By the way, I just heard today that some publishers are building "self-destruction" software into the e-books they SELL to libraries. HarperCollins, for instance, kills the library e-books after they have been checked out just 26 times, the theory being that a physical copy of a book only lasts through 26 checkouts and the library needs to buy a new copy at that point - electronic blips or not. I have to believe that a physical book is good for more than 26 reads. The real number can't be 26, can it?
I suspect that I will eventually grow to love the OverDrive software, but getting it set-up and functioning has cost me almost an hour of valuable time tonight. I already like the larger iPad screen so much that my Sony Reader is looking more and more like an antique destined to spend the rest of its life in the closet. I do have some suggestions for enhancements to the software, however, if anyone at OverDrive is listening.
P.S. This same app is good for checking out audio books from your local library but I haven't tried that function yet.