If you’re lucky enough to be a patron of a public library that loans out ebooks via the Overdrive system, AND if you own either an iPhone, an iPod Touch, and/or an iPad, you can now read these borrowed library ebooks on your iPhone, Touch, and/or iPad via the brand new Bluefire Reader app for the iPhone/Touch/iPad. In the Library Journal article to which I’ve provided a link below, Josh Hadro provides excellent directions for getting the borrowed library ebook files into the iPhone/Touch/iPad via the Bluefire Reader app via email.
First, however, you must establish an Adobe ID, which you can do by webbing on over to the Adobe ID registration page.
Note: Later, if/when you decide to establish ebook accounts with Sony, Barnes & Noble (nook), Kobobooks, and/or independent ebook sellers, you MUST use the SAME email address and password that you used to set up your Adobe ID as your email address and password with these ebook sellers. (The reason for this is that both the “borrowed” library ebooks and the “purchased” ebooks from Sony, B&N, Kobobooks, etc. use Adobe’s Digital Rights Management (DRM) protocol with their EPUB and PDF files. Each time you configure one of the above ereaders and/or ebook apps, you will be asked to first authorize the app, computer, and/or ereader by entering your Adobe ID email address and password.
If you’ve been reading library ebooks on a Sony Reader or a B&N nook (or on your computer via Adobe’s Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) software for PC or Mac), you’re a step ahead of the game as you’ve already established your Adobe ID.
Next, download the Bluefire Reader app and install it on your iPhone/Touch/iPad. After you’ve downloaded and installed the Bluefire Reader app on your iPhone/Touch/iPad, you’ll be asked to authorize the Bluefire Reader app by providing your Adobe ID email address and password. You’ll need to have Internet access when you do this so that the Bluefire Reader app can access Adobe’s servers to verify your authorization. (Note: If you plan to use the Bluefire Reader app solely to read non-DRM’d books from sources like the Gutenberg Project, Google Books, the Internet Archive, and O’Reilly Media, you do not need to authorize the Bluefire Reader app with Adobe. However, if you do plan to use the Bluefire Reader app to read ebooks borrowed from your public library – or to read any of the free ebooks provided by the various ebook sellers at no charge – you will need to authorize your Bluefire Reader app with Adobe.)
To get the borrowed library ebooks into the Bluefire Reader app now installed on your iPhone/Touch/iPad, follow the excellent directions that Library Journal’s Josh Hadro provides at:
If you prefer to use the iTunes program on your computer to transfer your books to the Bluefire Reader app on your iPhone/Touch/iPad via a USB sync, you’ll find directions for that procedure on the Mobicomputing site at:
Also, you may use the Mobicomputing approach to transfer purchased EPUB and PDF files from the Digital Editions folder on your computer to your iPhone/Touch/iPad device.
Using both of these approaches, I was able to download borrowed library books from two public libraries and to transfer all of the DRM’d EPUB and PDF formatted books that I have purchased over the past 18 months from Sony, Kobobooks, and from various independent and university presses to the Bluefire Reader app on both my iPod Touch and my iPad.
What a delight it is to be able to read ALL of my purchased AND borrowed books on one very portable device (the iPod Touch) as well as on one not-quite-so-portable device (the iPad). By using a combination of ebook apps (the Kindle for iPhone/iPad app, the nook app, the Kobobooks app, Apple’s iBook app, the Stanza app and the Bluefire Reader app) on the iPhone/Touch/iPad, I am finally able to access ALL of my ebooks on ONE device! Once Bluefire creates an Android version of the Bluefire Reader, I’ll be able to do the same on my trusty DROID.
For portability and ease of reading, I prefer the screen size of the 6 inch Kindle to both the much smaller iPhone/Touch and the much larger iPad. For me, the dream ereader device would be a 7 inch iPad – or a 7 inch well-designed, reasonably-priced Android tablet. However, when it comes to reading out-of-doors, the Kindle can’t be beat. What the Kindle lacks – other than color – is the ability to access borrowed library ebooks. Now, if only Mr. Bezos could find it in his heart to provide access to borrowed library ebooks on the Kindle itself, he and his Kindle ereader would do both Amazon.com and the reading public a great service.
O’Reilly Media (ebooks purchased through the enlightened O’Reilly arrive without DRM restrictions)
Sony Reader for PC and Mac (to date Sony has not provided apps for ereader devices)