How to Put Library Books from Overdrive on Your Nook — a Visual Tutorial

(Also, how to return an ebook to Overdrive before the lending period is done.)

One of the biggest reasons to buy a  Nook is for  its compatibility with Overdrive, the ebook database  libraries subscribed to. It’s very easy to borrow a book and put it on your Nook, but it’s not intuitive so is a step-by-step instructions on how to get library ebooks. This shows how to check a library eBook from Overdrive system (we call it our eMedia Catalog), transferring it to your Nook, and returning it. Click on almost any image to see a full-size version pop up (a few were small enough to fit in the post space). There are also how to videos on the How-To-Videos tab above.

To begin, you’ll need to download and install Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) on your computer. Overdrive uses Adobe Digital Editions to handle its digital rights management. You should also create a free account, as prompted, so you can authorize your Nook (or other computers) to read the books as well.

Step 1. Check out your book on Overdrive

Go to eMedia Catalog and log into My eMedia Account using your barcode number, selecting your library and entering your zipcode. You can search for ebooks without being signed in, but being signed in makes the process faster after you’ve decided which book you want. Once you’ve found the book you want to check out, click “add to Bookbag.”

Proceed from your Bookbag to Checkout before your book expires. In most cases this is 30 minutes.

Confirm checkout. A drop-down menu will let you specify the period you want to check the book out for.

Step 2. Download and Open in Adobe Digital Editions

Connect your Nook to your computer before you download your books.  Having it connected first seems to resolve so other issues.

On My eMedia Shelf, click the download link to download the ebook. Choose to open with Adobe Digital Editions.

Adobe Digital Editions will download the actual ebook and open it on your computer.

Click on the Library icon (where the red arrow is pointing in the screen grab above) to return to the library view. This is where you’ll transfer the book to your nook.

Step 3. Transfer the ebook to your Nook

If your Nook isn’t yet connected to your computer, use the USB cable to connect it and turn it on. It should appear in your Adobe Digital Editions library page as shown below:

Note: If you plug in and turn on your Nook and it doesn’t show up in ADE, simply exit and reopen ADE. Before reopening ADE, double check that your Nook is on and is displaying the USB connection screen. If you’re not seeing it and see regular Nook screens instead, you’ve ejected your Nook and you’ll need to unplug and replug it in. The Nook Color may show up as “Media” rather than as “Nook” in ADE.

Now, click on the book you want to transfer to your Nook and drag it to your Nook icon as shown below:

If you click on the Nook icon, it should show up as being in your Nook’s library as well. Once you get the hang of it it’s quite straightforward. Check out, download, drag and drop, and voila you’re reading your library book on your Nook!

Step 4. Return the ebook from your Nook and computer

Your library book will expire after the lending period is over and you won’t be able to access it on your Nook any more. But if you want to return the ebook before the lending period is over, either so that you can check out more or just because you want other people to have access to the ebook, you can also return it just like you would a regular book.

Returning it easy in Adobe Digital Editions, but it has to be done from both your Nook and your computer.

First, plug in your Nook and turn it on. Click the icon in Adobe Digital Editions to view your Nook’s ebook library. Click on the little arrow in the upper-left-hand corner of the title image and select “Return Borrowed Item”:

Once the book disappears, click on the “All Items” bookshelf in Adobe Digital Editions, find the book, and repeat the returning process. If you go to the eMedia Catalog and log into My eMedia Account, your book should no longer be on your bookshelf either. If it is, go back to Adobe Digital Editions and check any of its bookshelves for copies of your book.


8 thoughts on “How to Put Library Books from Overdrive on Your Nook — a Visual Tutorial

  1. Any suggestions on how to troubleshoot this problem? I’m having problems with step 3. I can drag the book to my NOOK folder on my ADE application, but when I eject my NOOK from the laptop, and check “My B&N library” on my NOOK, the book does not show up.

    • The book is not where your purchase books go, it’s in a different folder. Now the trick is what type of Nook do you have?
      Here are the directions for three different types of Nooks, so find your type of Nook and follow those directions.
      How to open eBooks transferred to a NOOK

      When you transfer eBooks to your NOOK using Adobe Digital Editions (ADE), follow the instructions for your device listed below.
      How to open eBooks on a NOOK 1st Edition

      Use the touch screen to navigate to My Library.

      Tap My Documents.

      Select the book you want to read, and enjoy.

      How to open eBooks on a NOOK Simple Touch

      Push the ‘n’ button.

      Tap Library.

      Make sure that All is selected from the drop down box near the upper-left corner.

      Tap the book you want to read, and enjoy.

      How to open eBooks on a NOOK Color or NOOK Tablet

      Tap the up arrow at the bottom of the screen to show the menu.

      Tap Library.

      Tap My Files near the top of the screen.

      Go to Media > Digital Editions.

      Tap the book you want to read, and enjoy.

      – See more at:

  2. Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

  3. I’ve been browsing online greater than three hours lately, but I by no means found any fascinating article like yours. It’s lovely price sufficient for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made just right content material as you probably did, the net might be much more helpful than ever before.

  4. You should not need a computer to get Library books onto your Reader device which already can access the internet! Both an unnecessary hassle and subpar design.

    • The publishers and ebook suppliers are being to get this issue. If you have a device which uses Android or iOS (Apple) operating system you can add an app which allows you to download directly to your device. The drawback is only ePub formats can be used with this method. Today there is article B&N Nook Color update released brings Froyo, apps and flash to the Nook Color. We are waiting to hear if the Android App for OverDrive will now work on the device. No official word yet but stay tuned! As soon as we know we will post an update.

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