eBooks from the BPL

Nooks, Kindles, tablets and smart phones make it easy to read on the go.  The downside of these devices is that they make it a little too easy to spend money on purchasing ebooks.  Instead of hitting that “buy” button next time you want a new book, why not download a title for free from the library?

The Boston Public Library has an extensive collection of ebooks available for download to your Kindle, Nook, smart phone or tablet through OverDrive, a digital lending system for public libraries.  The BPL’s ebook collection includes fiction, nonfiction, consumer health titles and over 300 Business/Career titles available for download.

You will need a library card to download ebooks.  Any Massachusetts resident can get a Boston Public Library card by going to any BPL branch.  Have a library card from another library? You can also download ebooks from the library from which you have a library card by going to that library’s website.

How to download ebooks from the BPL for your eReader or Computer:

  1. Download the OverDrive Media Console to your computer: http://www.overdrive.com/software/omc/
  2. Go to http://www.bpl.org/  (or your local public library)
  3. Find the “How Do I…?” options on the front page and select “Download ebooks and audiobooks”
  4.  Either search for books or go to the” Browse Collections” box on the left side of the page to look for specific genres or formats.  *Note that there a limited number of copies of each book available at one time for download.  You may have to be placed on a waiting list to download an ebook.   
  5. When selecting a book to place on hold or add to your cart (to download), make sure to select the appropriate format—either Kindle or Adobe, which you can load onto your Nook, computer or other eBook-compatible device. 
  6. Once you select a book for hold or “check out” you will be prompted for your Library Card # and PIN. 
  7. If you place a book on hold you will receive an email when your ebook is available for download.   If your ebook is currently available you can download to your OverDrive Media Console software and either read the book on your computer or upload to your e-reader or device.  You will need to plug your device into your computer’s USB port.
  8. Your ebooks will disappear from your computer or device after your loan has expired.

How to download ebooks from the BPL for your tablet or smartphone:

  1. Download the OverDrive app: http://www.overdrive.com/software/omc/
  2. Open the OverDrive app on your device.  Go to the menu and click “Get Books.”
  3. Click “Add Library” and search for the Boston Public Library (or your local public library).
  4. OverDrive will open in your device’s browser and you can search or browse for books.
  5. You will be prompted for your library ID # and password when putting a ebook on hold or selecting a book to download.
  6. Your ebooks will download directly to your device and you can read them with the OverDrive app.
  7. Your ebooks will be deleted from your device after the loan expires.

If you need your ebook in a hurry and don’t mind paying, OverDrive gives you the option to purchase books as well.

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