The screen of my smartphone is like a littered graveyard. Countless unused icons stand as the headstones of all the passing fancy apps that I tried and abandoned. Few apps have been able to hold my interest for long.
Then I came upon Overdrive, the one beacon of light upon a smartphone of darkness. It’s the one thing about my phone I’ve found that’s as useful as the ability to send GIFs of Alf playing a keyboard in response to every text message I receive.
Essentially, Overdrive is a library app. It functions as the digital middleman between you and whatever libraries you’ve become a member of. And yeah, I’m a nerd. I need a constant stream of books in my life.
With Overdrive I’m able to see what’s new and what suits me at the various libraries I patronize, including OCCC’s. But I’m also able to reserve books that I can pick up at my leisure. Most importantly, Overdrive is the app that allows me to download eBooks and mp3s from my libraries.
I take in one or two books on mp3 a week, the best of which are read by the authors themselves, and provide some further insight into their topics and processes. It’s commercial-free listening during my commute each day.
Even when I power through absolute garbage of the written (and in turn, spoken) word, I’m better for it than if I’d sat listening to the music, advertising and vitriol that would otherwise be spewing from my car stereo.
Not every library has every book and some have a very limited selection of eBooks and mp3s. But library cards are free and you can sort of collect them all on your Overdrive app and allow yourself access to the most massive collection of literary work ever.
Overdrive is free and functions well. It’s a rare gem in an endless sea of useless software. I don’t think I’ll be putting it to rest anytime soon.
To contact Jorge Krzyzaniak