Thursday, December 29, 2011

New 52 | Week 52: Borrowing Ebook from Library

Wow!  The last week of the year, and the last of my weekly new things I did in 2011!  This year went by lightening fast.

On my list of new things to try this year was to borrow an ebook from my local library.  I have a Sony Reader and that is one of the reading devices that works with my library.  So tonight I sat down to go through the process of finding a book to borrow and then downloading it and then transferring it to my Sony Reader.  I just have to say… the process was very painful.  :(

First I visited San Diego library’s eCollection page.  I browsed around a lot for Adobe EPUB books, since that is the format that’s compatible with my Sony Reader.  Every single book that I clicked on had “0” quantity available.  After browsing for books for what seemed like 30 minutes, and not finding any books I liked available, I finally went to the “advanced search” on the right and searched for available EPUB books.  Guess what, my entire library’s digital collection only had 56 EPUB books available for checkout right now.  All the books were checked out!  This was really, really frustrating to me, because one of the great thing about ebook borrowing in my mind is availability versus physical books at the library, and the selection was MORE THAN POOR at the San Diego Library’s eCollection.  I finally gave up and just picked a random book just so I could go through the process of borrowing an ebook from my library.  I picked “Murder Room” by Michael Capuzzo.  Never heard of it.


The process of checking out was fairly easy compared to finding a book.  I clicked on check out, chose to borrow the book for 21 days, then it asks for my library card number and my PIN.  Once I provided that, the eBook was available for download.  I should mention that you have to download and install Adobe Digital Editions in order to use my library’s ebook borrowing service, but I had done this previously already. 

Once I downloaded the book, it showed up in my Adobe Digital Editions software under the “Borrowed” folder.  Then I wondered how I could transfer the book to my Sony Reader.  I googled around and it said to drag the book to the device icon on the left hand side.  I didn’t see my device icon.  Then the lightbulb of brilliance went off.  DOH!  I hadn’t connected my device to my computer yet!  So I plugged my Sony Reader into my computer’s USB port and bing!, my Sony Reader showed up in the Adobe Digital Editions software.


So I just dragged the book to “PRS-300” on the left and now the book is on my Sony Reader for me to read for the next 21 days.

The process of borrowing was not technically difficult, but I’m very disappointed in my library’s ebook availability.  I would much rather pay and buy books that I want to read than being on a huge long waiting list at the library.  I thought the wait list was bad for popular physical books… some of the popular ebooks had over 40 people on the waiting list!  Each person borrows the book for 21 days, so you do the math.  That’s a staggering 2.3 years before I get my hands on that ebook.  RIDICULOUS!

I’m glad I tried the process out though.  At least now I know how it works and that my library has almost no ebooks available.  Nothing I would want to read anyways. 

This wraps up my 52nd and final NEW adventure this year!  Thanks so much for joining in and following along.  I’m really proud to finish this project and I’ve had so much fun doing it.  I really feel accomplished when I persevere and complete a year-long project like this, similar to when I completed Project 365 in 2009.  I will be doing a wrap-up post in the next few days that summarizes and links to all 52 of my posts this year.  :)

About This Project

New52 is a project started by Peppermint and I to encourage each other and others around us to try something new every week in 2011. The "new" each week doesn't have to be something big. It could be something as simple as ordering a new dish instead of old standbys at your favorite restaurant. It's simply opening your heart up to NEW possibilities.
Don't worry if you're late getting started on joining in. It's totally OK if you miss a week here or there. We encourage everyone to keep an open mind about trying something new. This is a life project, and a photography/blog and even scrap challenge if you wish. If you participate this week, please leave a link to your blog post in the comments of this post.


  1. It's staggering to think how quick 2011 has flown by. Congrats on completing the NEW52 process! I've managed to do a lot better than I thought I would, but alas, didn't documents all 52 new experiences :-(

    However, I'm planning something similar for 2012 and I'm hoping to try 52 new recipes (one per week) and 12 home improvement tasks / projects (one per month). With luck, persistance and endeavour, this time next year, I'll be doing a wrap up post of my own!

    Thanks for your support & encouragement throughout 2011 Christine and I hope you, Todd & Noodle have a happy & healthy new year ahead.


  2. Congrats on completing New52!

    I have the same problem with the selection of books at my library. :(

  3. Hooray for completing New52!!
    I have the same issue with our library's digital library. Looks like we use the same system (overdrive). The search function is really pretty rotten. I've searched for specific books and found them unavailable, but if I search differently they are there. Definitely not very user friendly.
    But, I do love the convenience of checking them out online. And I love that if I see a book I like, but it's checked out, I can place a hold. Most of the time, the turn around is about 2-3 weeks for really popular books.
    Enjoy your ebooks!

  4. Happy New Year! I not sure this information will be useful but here it goes...overdrive is the primary source for ebooks for libraries. Instead of using your library's catalog to look for ebooks, try using instead if you have other libraries in the area that you could join. Why would that help? Just like physical books, libraries decide what ebooks they will add to their collection. Your library may have decided not to purchase as many ebook titles or copies than say another library nearby. My example: I belong to a large city library system (Columbus Metropolitan Library), a suburban library (Bexley Public Library) and a consortium of University Libraries in Ohio (OhioLink). When I needed a book for my bookclub I searched first and located three copies of the ebook at CML that where already checked out but in the same search I located 2 copies at Bexley that were available for check out. I know this post is lengthy, but hopefully helpful!

    (I should add, I am a Librarian!)

  5. Hi Elizabeth! Thanks so much for the very helpful tips! I'll definitely try searching on My goal in 2012 is to read more books, so this will definitely help. And nice to hear from someone in Columbus. I lived there for 5 years while going to Ohio State for my two bachelor degrees. :) Go Bucks!

  6. Yes, the library wait for ebooks is ridiculous. Now that you can borrow from kindle via the library, it's MUCH better!

  7. I will have to check out searching on too. If it is any consolation, I started early this year trying to read books on Micah's ipad. The selection was really poor--kind of like what you had, but I have been pleasantly surprised at how many books they have added. They don't always have the ones that I want, but there have been a lot more added. Hopefully, yours will be adding to their collection soon!
    Maybe because I am in a smaller city than you and Melissa, but I don't seem to have those crazy of wait times.

    And yay for finishing New 52!! loved reading your adventures.


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