Frequently Asked Questions - ebooks

Being able to access, download and read electronic books depends largely on what sort of device you have and what file types and additional applications your device uses.  All of the C.O.D. Library's e-books can be read on an Internet-enabled device using a web browser.  To download books to read offline, make sure your device can read PDF files (most can) and/or download Adobe Digital Editions (or Bluefire Reader for Apple devices) and to check out books from our various collections. If you are using a portable device or e-reader, select your device from the list below to learn more.

Adobe Digital Editions is free software that allows you to check out and read ePub format e-books from Libraries. This software manages your checkouts and protects books from being illegally copied.  You'll need this software on your computer or on your mobile device to use ePubs. For instance, if you have a Nook, you'll use Adobe Digital Editions on your computer to check out the book from our Library then transfer it to your device using USB.  If you have an Apple device, see the information on this page about the Bluefire Reader. 

If you have a Chromebook, you will not be able to use Adobe Digital Editions but can read books in .pdf format. For more information about reading off-line using a Chromebook, please consult the Google Chromebook help page.

Most of the Library's e-book collection can be downloaded by chapter, section or page.  These books are in PDF format. We have several collections of e-books that can be downloaded in their entirety to read offline, including the Axis 360 Magic Wall which contains popular books and audiobooks. Go to the device list under "Reading with a Mobile Device" below for more information about using your mobile device. 

Refer to this list of E-book collections for more information about reading and downloading the Library's e-books. 

Yes, we do! Check out the Axis 360 Magic Wall information page to learn more about this collection.

You can also browse for free fiction e-books at the following sites:

Project Gutenberg

Internet Archive

Google Books

Free E-books for Kindle

Free E-books for Nook

Free E-books for Sony Reader

Free E-books for iPad, iPhone & iPod Touch
Open iBooks and Search for "free" materials.

Free E-books for Kobo

The Library cannot give explicit advice on which e-reader/portable device is best for you.  The C.O.D. Librarians use Nooks, Kindles, iPads and Sony Readers for personal reading--its really an individual choice!  Here is a review of 2014 e-book readers from CNET:

If you would like to talk to a librarian about e-books and e-book readers, feel free to contact Denise Cote at (630) 942-2092 or email at [email protected].

Books in the ePub format require a special software called Adobe Digital Editions in order for you to read them on your device. This software lets you read your books, manages your e-book checkouts from the Library and protects the book from being copied illegally.  

Adobe Digital Editions is not compatible with iPhones, iPads or iPod Touch but the Bluefire Reader is compatible.  Bluefire Reader emulates Adobe Digital Editions and performs all of the same functions. You can also manage your e-book and PDF library on your device using Bluefire.  

Safari Books Online is a popular collection of technical manuals.  The books can be read using a web browser and Internet connection.  Unfortunately, the publisher of this collection does not allow downloading.  Safari books are best used on a computer or an Android-based device.  Much of the e-book content is delivered using Flash, which is not compatible with the iPad.