If you want to feed your reading habit, I have a great resource for you. The best part? It’s free. OverDrive is an American digital distributor of eBooks, audiobooks, magazines and streaming video titles. Lots of organizations use this service as a way for their members and customers to access these types of material. Lucky for us the Air Force is one of those organizations. Thanks Wikipedia. 😀

This article walks you through signing up for OverDrive and offers a suggestion on how to use it.

Note: This article will walk you through signing up for OverDrive using your AF email address. If you don’t have one yet because you are still a cadet ask your school if they offer OverDrive accounts.

Signing Up/Logging In

Step 1: Navigate to af.overdrive.com and click on Sign In.

Step 2: Click on Select your Library dropdown menu in the middle of the page.

Step 3: Select Email Self Registration.

Step 4: Enter your .af.mil email address and click the Send verification code button

Step 5: Go check your email for the verification code.

Step 6: Enter the verification code in order to verify your email address.

Step 7: Voila! You’re in. You can use the search bar to look for any titles you’re interested. Keep in mind that even if the the title is returned in the search, it doesn’t mean the title is available to borrow.

Checking Out Books

Step 1: When you’re ready to check out an eBook or audio book, click on the picture or Place a Hold to well, uh, place a hold.

Step 2: This example is for an eBook. Click on the Read now with Kindle button.

Step 3: This will redirect you to Amazon.com. Click on Deliver To: to send it to your chosen device, then click Get Library Book.

Step 4: If you see this screen, then you did it correctly. Good job. 👍

Reading Lists

The 14 day limit helps me focus on reading the book and absorbing the material. Sure I can always check out the book again but oftentimes the wait lists are long for the more popular books. One place for you to start is with the various reading lists found on OverDrive. There are a number of unit specific lists and the CSAF reading list as well.

What to do with your eBooks

Highlight them and take notes but first let me give you a suggestion. I recently implemented a rule for myself. If I make any highlights (or underlines in physical books) it has to have an accompanying thought or commentary. Kindle makes highlighting really easy and I found when I reviewed my highlights I would lose context and not remember why I highlighted it in the first place. This rule helps future me remember why I chose to highlight (or underline) something. We’ll cover some tools for reviewing highlights in a future article.

Leaders are readers. OverDrive is an excellent resource to help build or reinforce your reading habit. Take advantage of this free resource and be sure to share it with others. Happy reading!

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