Earlier this month, we introduced OverDrive Read samples to digital collections throughout our library network. Using our new browser-based eReading technology, patrons can sample and browse your library’s EPUB titles—no downloads, device activation or software installation required. Since the launch of the OverDrive Read option, sampling has increased by 783 percent across the OverDrive network.


Click a book jacket to view OverDrive Read sample.

Later this year, readers at libraries and schools will be able to borrow full titles using OverDrive Read. The browser-based technology provides new, efficient ways for publishers and authors to promote titles.  Because each eBook “sample” has a unique URL, libraries and readers can share titles via social media and other online channels by sending or posting links.


With millions browsing library eBook catalogs each month, OverDrive Read broadens and deepens reader engagement and title discovery. Here’s an update on OverDrive library network data for the first eight months of 2012 (Jan. 1 – Aug. 31):


  • Total OverDrive library catalog visits:   34.8 million
  • Library catalog page views:  1.82 billion
  • Average pages viewed per visit: 13.82
  • Average time spent browsing or searching per visit:  9:46
  • Book cover images viewed:   5.4 billion (est.)
  • eBook samples viewed since OverDrive Read introduced (early Sept.):  up 783% from March


OverDrive Read is compatible with most computers and devices that use a modern web browser, including tablets, laptops and smartphones. Check out samples of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” “Game of Thrones” and “Heaven is for Real” to see how OverDrive Read mimics the experience of thumbing through a title at the library or bookstore.


Michael Lovett is Public Relations and Social Media Specialist at OverDrive.

8 Responses to “Launch of OverDrive Read Samples Sparks Title Discovery at Digital Libraries”

  1. D. Scott

    While I understand how OverDrive Read works with a live wifi connection, what happens if a patron loses or turns off their wifi connection to save battery life on their device?

    Will there be a way to read the “instant books” offline or would they need to download them the traditional way?

    • Michael Lovett

      OverDrive Read will enable offline reading. While a user must be online in order to first access titles via OverDrive Read, the HTML5-based technology will store checked-out titles in the device’s cache for offline use, with the titles expiring at the end of the lending period. Make sense? -Mike

  2. Andrea Hilliard

    Our library system uses IE 8. We are experiencing problems (lagging, timing out) when attempting to install the Google Chrome plug-in required to access the new OverDrive Read samples. Installation of other browsers is not a viable option for us. Any advice?

    • Michael Lovett

      Hi Andrea-

      OverDrive READ requires the use of the Google Chrome Frame plugin for Internet Explorer. Please note that the plugin does not work with the 64-bit version of IE. That said, the 32-bit version of IE will work fine with the plugin. If you are already using the 32-bit version of IE, and are still unable to install the plugin, then the problem may be due to not having admin level privileges on the computer in use.

      If this doesn’t solve your issue, let us know…



  3. tim

    Thanks for the great tip, Mike. Just to be clear: the plugin issue is with the 64-bit version of IE and NOT the 64-bit version of Windows, correct?

    • Michael Lovett

      That’s right, Tim. The problem is the browser not the OS.

  4. Ann

    Could you be more specific about how to use OverDrive Read to read a book offline. You wrote above (#2) that the book will be stored in the device’s cache but I’m not sure how to find it on my computer or device–Nook Tablet.

    • Michael Lovett

      Hi Ann- When you’re using OverDrive Read online, save the book you’re reading to your bookmarks. Then, when you’re offline, simply return to that bookmark via your browser. Make sense? Best, Mike