Budget Bookworm: Two Library Apps I Use Regularly

Posted April 11, 2018 by Zeee in Budget Bookworm, Discussions21 Comments

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Two Library Apps that I Use Regularly

Saving moolah on awesome reads!

Happy National Library Week! For bookworms, this week is the chance to say thank you to the awesome institution that is the public library system and the librarians who run them! As someone who grew up in a country where the public library system isn’t as developed as the US, I cannot begin to express my thanks to this system.

I am one bookworm that uses the LA Public Library System to it’s fullest. I fact, LAPL has saved me a lot of money! I regularly borrow ebooks and audiobooks digitally and never have to step into a brick and mortar building! I know that’s no fun, but with my busy schedule, borrowing books digitally is the only way to go.

But how do I borrow books from the library? I mostly use three apps to borrow books – Overdrive, Libby, and Kindle. For ebooks, I send them over to the Kindle app, so I am not going to talk about that. For now, I will share the two library apps I use regularly for listening to audiobooks.


The Overdrive App

I used to use the Overdrive app 100% of the time, but I found another app that has more features that I prefer. I still keep the Overdrive app because there are certain features that I also love.

This is how your digital bookshelf will look like. You are able to scroll down to see all the other audiobooks that you have borrowed.

Overdrive Bookshelf

When you click the title, you will be able to access the play interface.

Overdrive Playback

One of the features that I love about Overdrive is the option to change the playback speeds! Sometimes, a narrator’s tempo just doesn’t work for me so I usually slow it down to 0.8x speed or increase it to 1.2x speed. This normally fixes the annoying narrator that speaks really slow to my taste but does not distort the narrator’s voice. It just speeds it up a bit.

Another feature that I love is the volume boost. For some reason, some of the audiobooks need a volume boost! Even when I am using headphones, it still needs a little boost. Or, maybe I should clean my ears? ☺

The best feature that I love from Overdrive is the ability to REQUEST books that the library can purchase! For this example, I picked Sarah MacLean’s new book Wicked and the Wallflower. As you can see, this book isn’t available to borrow yet (it’s not released yet and the library hasn’t purchased a copy yet). After you scroll down to the very bottom of your screen, you can see the Recommend option. This lets the library know that there is a reader interested in the book.

Overdrive Recommendation

After you recommend a title, you will be able to immediately add yourself to the queue so that when the book has been purchased, you will receive an email AND also be in line to check out the book! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

Overdrive Waitlist

The Libby App

Libby is also made by Overdrive, but it has a few extra special features that I absolutely CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT!

One is the ability to see the full list of books in the series that are available to borrow!

Libby Series

As you can see, this view shows all the 7 books available in The Night Huntress series. The small Libby icon shows that the book is not available for immediate borrowing. This basically means someone else checked out their copy or copies of it.

There is also that nifty feature showing that the audiobook you are currently looking at is also available in another format! How awesome is that?!

Libby Queue

Oh, and did I mention that they will also show how long your wait is in the queue?! This is really helpful when you are reading a series!


This is how the Libby playback looks like. Although it has fewer options like the Overdrive app, I love the feature where you can click on the time and change it to your preference. Since I post on Goodreads, I tend to used the percentage to mark my place when making comments. You can do that with Libby without doing math! Yeah, I hate math so this is super helpful to me.

A neat feature that I also love is that you can see if the book was sent to your Kindle app! One of the things that I hated was clicking on the extra step to see if I already sent the ebook to my Kindle. This is another nice feature that I love about the app.


Overall Thoughts

While I love both apps, I have been using Libby more often than the old Overdrive app. I personally love the additional features that I can’t get in the old app.

I also don’t have problems switching to Overdrive when the need arises, like when I need to enhance the sound or increase the reading speed since both are not available on the Libby app.

I have not used Hooplah to it’s fullest sense since this is the app where you can borrow graphic novels and comics and I haven’t really been reading a lot of those.


Do you borrow books from your public library? How extensive are the books available?

Do you use an app to borrow books and audiobooks digitally? What do you use?

If you have used Overdrive, Libby, or Hooplah which do you think is the best one?

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21 responses to “Budget Bookworm: Two Library Apps I Use Regularly

  1. I’ve got both Overdrive and Libby, the latter I only downloaded last week as my library is now using that along with Overdrive. I have not really gone through beyond borrowing ebooks and reading from it, but because I’m in Australia they do not have library books compatible for Kindles. I had a Kobo Glo prior but it died on me and it had not been used for no more than 3 months in total so was a bit turned off from that so went and got a Kindle and slightly regret it because I can’t borrow ebooks and read on my Kindle.

    Do you use Overdrive for any other book organisation or only library books? What makes you use Libby more than Overdrive?

    • Just for this library, Angelica. There are other library systems in the area, but I only signed up for this one. It’s the Los Angeles County Public Library and it’s a huge system, so they have a huge selection of books to choose from.

      Libby has a few additional options that I like – it shows the books in a series list and lets you know which ones are available to borrow. The app itself looks cute, too! But they are also run by Overdrive.

  2. I also borrow ebooks and audiobooks! Although I think that each library offers different options when it comes to apps. My library uses Hoopla and Axis360. They used to use Overdrive, but not anymore. I don’t know anything about the Libby app, but it sounds great! Hoopla also lets you choose playback speeds like you mentioned, but I think it goes by .5 jumps.
    Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Book Review: Lonely Shore (Chaos Station Book 2) by Jenn Burke & Kelly JensenMy Profile

    • I’ve never used Hoopla for audiobook before, but thanks for the tip. I know some audiobooks are available on Hoopla but not available on Overdrive. I actually discovered that today!

  3. Libby definitely sounds like a useful tool. I am always getting ebooks from my library and a lot of them are part of a series. Having this list the books available would be very helpful. I also like that it shows you your approximate wait time. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been #3 on the waiting list for way too long. LoL
    Kristin (Book Sniffers Anonymous) recently posted…Review: For Crosby by J. NathanMy Profile

    • LOL I totally get it! I used to waiiit forever to get a book, but with the approximate wait time, it helps with the anxiety. LOL

  4. I use Overdrive and hadn’t heard of Libby. I also have an Audible account, but if I don’t want to spend a credit on an audiobook I will try to get it on Overdrive. Did you know there is a limit on how many books you can request on Overdrive? I had requested some books and then the app told me I couldn’t request anymore. I couldn’t find any information about this limit. I’ll have to try out Libby. Great post!
    Kathy @ My Nook, Books & More recently posted…Top 10 Tuesday – Books I Will Never Re-ReadMy Profile

    • Oh! I forgot to mention that, Kathy! Yes, there IS a limit. I believe it’s 10 books per month. But after the month is over, you can recommend books again!

      I stumbled upon Libby somewhere.. I can’t remember and I downloaded it just because the name sounded so cute! It was pretty easy and I LOVED the other options not available on Overdrive.

      I also have an audible subscription and I use it to buy audiobooks that I just can’t wait for! 🙂

  5. Oh wow, these are great! I had heard of Overdrive, but I have never used it. And I love that you can actually request books for your library to purchase, it just seems so easy! I feel like I’d probably use the library more if I could do something like this, but sadly my library’s selection is mediocre at best. The Libby one sounds like it has a lot of awesome features, too!
    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted…In Her Skin by Kim Savage: Review & GiveawayMy Profile

    • I am lucky to have an awesome library. I believe there are other libraries that allow you to pay a yearly fee to access their books and audiobooks. But there are a lot of ways to get books now, too!

      • zeee do you know which libraries? I’ve heard that even being International (Australia) I can borrow electronic copies of books via certain libraries, would love to know as I’m happy to pay a fee if I can get more access to my books. Don’t quite know WHY I’m still borrowing when I’ve got a whole room of TBR’s.
        Angelica @ Paperback Princess recently posted…Weekly Wrap-UpMy Profile

        • I don’t have a full list but I believe the New York Public Library has one where you pay a yearly fee to borrow digital books. You might try checking that out!

  6. I am all about borrowing books in an electronic format. My library uses Overdrive and my daughter’s uses Libby. Both are great. My library gives us access to Hoopla too. Great selection of audiobooks, but the app gets on my nerves. If there is no internet connection, it will sometimes lose your place in the audiobook, and I hate trying to figure out where I was.
    Sam@WLABB recently posted…Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Allied – Amy TinteraMy Profile

    • I actually download the audiobook to my phone to avoid this. I don’t use the streaming option because every time I get a message or notification, it stops the audio and doesn’t continue playing after.

  7. I’ve heard about Libby, but haven’t tried it out yet. I use OverDrive and Hoopla to borrow from my libraries. I do love my library and the selection I have with living in a bigger city. My small town library I grew up with didn’t have many options, but now that I’m in a big city, boy oh boy, do I have options. ^_^
    I mainly use the Hoopla for audiobooks sometimes they are their, but not on the OverDrive app. I’ll look at OverDrive first and then check Hoopla. OverDrive I use for eBooks and Audiobooks.
    Angela @ Angel’s Guilty Pleasures recently posted…TTT: Books I Liked, but Will Never Re-ReadMy Profile

    • I haven’t used Hoopla for audiobooks tho. But I will try to check it out soon when an audiobook I like isn’t available on Overdrive!