E-Readers and OverDrive: A Guide

Written by Halifax Public Libraries' Technology Interns

Whether you’re thinking about purchasing a new e-reader, or looking to upgrade, this blog post will help you decide which e-reader is best for you and how to get started with it. Halifax loves OverDrive: The Library's virtual collection of e-books, audiobooks, and e-magazines.

If you use a mobile or tablet device to access digital titles, you'll want to check out Libby by OverDrive!

Kobo e-readers with OverDrive integration

OverDrive is integrated with all newer Kobo devices, making it easier to place holds and borrow titles from OverDrive directly on your e-reader. Kobo devices with integrated OverDrive include the Kobo:

  • Aura ONE
  • Aura H2O Edition 2
  • Aura Edition 2
  • Clara HD
  • Clara 2E
  • Elipsa
  • Elipsa 2E
  • Forma
  • Libra 2
  • Nia
  • Libra H2O
  • Sage

If you’re not sure which Kobo e-reader is right for you, you can use Kobo’s handy comparison website, opens a new window to compare their e-readers' features. Generally, the cost of the e-readers increases with the screen size and storage capacity.

Once you purchase your e-reader, you can watch our Niche Academy Kobo - Integrated OverDrive tutorial, opens a new window to learn more about getting started.

Limitations of e-readers with OverDrive integration

Almost all e-books will automatically sync with your e-reader with integrated OverDrive. There are, however, a few exceptions to this rule.

If you’re an avid traveller, you may want to review the list of countries where Kobo’s integrated OverDrive features are functional.

If you’re noticing most of your e-books sync, but a specific title will not, this is probably because to sync successfully, that particular e-book needs to be available in both our Library’s digital collection, opens a new window and the Kobo Store, opens a new window with the same ISBN (International Standard Book Number).

You may be wondering, Why? This is because your e-reader is actually pulling the e-book content from the Kobo Store, not from OverDrive. You can find the ISBN of your OverDrive e-book in the "Details" section of OverDrive. To see if it is available in the Kobo Store with the same ISBN, copy the ISBN from the "Details" section of OverDrive, opens a new window and paste it into the search bar of the Kobo Store, opens a new window. If the title doesn’t appear, it won’t sync to your e-reader and you’ll need to transfer it to your Kobo using Adobe Digital Editions, opens a new window.

Unfortunately, e-readers will only work with our OverDrive e-books and will not work with our other E-Library resources that contain e-books, such as Hoopla, CELA, NNELS, or TumbleBooks.

E-readers that allow you to transfer files from your computer 

Although newer e-readers are easier to use than the older models, some older e-reader models will still work.

If you have an older Kobo e-reader, such as the Kobo Glo, Kobo Touch, or the Kobo Mini, you will need to use a computer with Adobe Digital Editions installed and authorized to download your OverDrive e-books to your Kobo.

If you’re not familiar with using Adobe Digital Editions to transfer e-books to your e-reader, you can check out our Niche Academy Kobo - Adobe Digital Editions tutorial., opens a new window

If you encounter problems using Adobe Digital Editions, try these troubleshooting steps, opens a new window.

Incompatible e-readers

The following e-readers, tablets, and apps are either no longer manufactured or supported in conjunction with OverDrive e-books:

  • Kobo WiFi
  • Kobo Vox
  • Kobo Arc 7
  • Sony e-readers
  • Kindle e-readers
  • Nook Glowlight e-readers

Benefits of e-reading

If you’re interested in purchasing an e-reader or still deciding, you'll want to read our blog post 7 Benefits of E-Reading, opens a new window.