Sony Virtual Library eBook Check Out Is Awesome, But Just a Little Too LiteralS

My favorite part of Sony's Reader announcement was probably Library Finder, powered by OverDrive, which lets you check out eBooks from your local library—and "thousands" have signed up—for free, direct to your reader. But there's a catch.

There aren't an unlimited number of ebooks—each library has an actual "stock" of ebooks (because the library had to pay for each copy). So, if they have a stock of 5 books, and they're all checked out, you have to wait in a queue for somebody else's book to expire when they hit the 21-day mark (when they automatically expire). When it's available, you get an email, and then you can check it out. You also need a valid library card, BTW, so you (theoretically) can't check out books from the New York Public Library—who's launching their stuff with the service today—if you live in Montana.

But overall, it's pretty great if it works as advertised—free books from your library for your ebook reader.

Today also marks the launch of Sony's Library Finder application. Sony, working with OverDrive (www.overdrive.com), the leading global digital distributor of eBooks and to libraries, will now offer visitors to the eBook Store by Sony easy access to their local library's collection of eBooks. Thousands of libraries in the OverDrive network offer eBooks optimized for the Sony Reader, and visitors can now find these libraries by typing their zip code into the Library Finder. Through the selected library's download website, visitors can check out eBooks with a valid library card, download them to a PC and transfer to their Reader. At the end of the library's lending period, eBooks simply expire, so there are never any late fees.

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