Book Corner: Kick Reading into OverDrive with Online Options

Since the library has been closed because of COVID-19, many people have told me, “I miss the library!” and I do, too. The library’s tremendous resources are just the thing to get us through this time when we are at home looking for ways to entertain ourselves and our children. Fortunately, there is a nearly endless number of resources available online that can be accessed from home. In this column, I’m going to focus on the library’s collections of eBooks for children and teens; in my next column I’ll focus on other online resources available from the library.

Central Rappahannock Regional Library’s (CRRL) eBook platform, OverDrive, can be accessed from the library’s website or via OverDrive’s app, Libby. You can read and listen right in the app or send books to your Kindle or other reading device. A library card number and pin are required to check out eBooks, but that is easy to get if you don’t already have them. Those who don’t have a library card can apply online and receive their card number and pin via email. Those who have a card but don’t remember the number or pin can click on the “contact us” link on that same Web page for help. 

Since closing, CRRL has ramped up the purchasing of eBooks and eAudio and is adding new titles weekly. Library users can easily find new and featured titles at librarypoint.overdrive.com. There are tabs to help with browsing and a search bar if you are looking for a particular title, author, or subject.

A special tab for Kids highlights not only new titles, but also books for Beginning Readers, non-fiction options, and books that are Trending Now. CRRL staff have pulled together some special books that focus on particular areas of interest, such as STEAM and Funny Listens. Comforting Reads are children’s books that help children understand the anxiety and other emotions they might be feeling right now and can also help adults talk to their children about their feelings. Two Hands to Love You, by Diane Adams, follows a loving family taking care of their child. Ruby Finds a Worry, by Tom Percival, is a reassuring story about the worries readers may feel. Worries Are Not Forever, by Elizabeth Verdick, is part of the Best Behavior series and uses illustrations and kid-friendly language to reassure children that everyone has worries and explains strategies that with practice can make their worries feel less scary.

Readalongs are also popular children’s books on Overdrive. These are fully illustrated picture books that offer the option of built-in narration as you or your child turn the pages on your computer, tablet, or phone. This gives adults the option of reading the book to their child themselves or turning on the professional narration for a different experience. Popular readalong titles include Pete the Cat, by James Dean; Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown; and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Dora the Explorer, by Nickelodeon Publishing.

Kids who have advanced to chapter books will find a long list of favorite series, including Warriors, Judy Moody, Dog Man, Amulet, Wayside School, Wings of Fire, and the Who Was… series. Ebook versions of chapter books that have illustrations, such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Dork Diaries, and Big Nate, have the same illustrations as the print versions, and even books with full-color illustrations, such as Amulet, are full color in the eBook format. Before checking out an eBook, kids can click on “Read a Sample” to view a few pages and make sure it meets their expectations.

Teens (and adults who love teen books) can find a wide variety of Young Adult titles under the Teens tab. Readers will find a vast selection of everything from fantasy to real-life drama, romance, dystopian, science fiction, memoir, non-fiction, and historical fiction in the teen collection on OverDrive. The Teen page features some titles of special interest suggested by CRRL staff, including LOL Reads and Escape from Reality

Even though we can’t get into our favorite library buildings, we can still find great books from the library—they’re just a click away!


Darcie Caswell is the Youth Services Coordinator at CRRL. This column originally appeared in The Free Lance-Star newspaper.