Staff Picks: E-books & Digital Audiobooks

Click to browse Staff Picks on OverDrive

One of the questions librarians hear a lot is, “What should I read next?” We all read book reviews but know that our best advice happens when we actually have read the book from cover to cover. I put the call out and the Library Staff responded with the following recommendations from our Overdrive Collection.

Ebook recommendations:

Audiobook recommendations:

If you would like a recommendation, tailored to your specific reading tastes, reach out to us and identify a few titles, authors or genres you enjoy and we will be happy to recommend similar titles to explore. If you think we are missing something, please suggest a purchase.

Happy reading.

So Many E-books and So Little Time

We’ve been lavished with rich lists of e-books and suggestions for online reading from every corner in recent weeks–it’s heavenly, and our virtual bookshelves are bursting. Who knew so many libraries had so much to offer? Where to begin?

But, we are human. Like the sayings go, “So many books, so little time” and the “eyes are bigger than the stomach.”

Nancy Pearl rule of 50

This makes now the perfect time to invoke the Nancy Pearl rule of 50. Nancy Pearl has given readers wonderful options with her Rule:

  • If a reader is under 50 years old, then consume 50 pages before dropping a book.
  • If a reader is over 50 years old, take the number 100, subtract your age, and this is the number of pages to read before switching to the next book. 

For example, a grandmother who is 86 years old has only to read 14 pages because 100 – 86 = 14. This means if grandma does not like a book and she has read 15 pages, she can nuke the book without guilt. 

With this there is very limited math involved.

One caveat… Sorry but the Rule of 50 applies to books for leisure and not assigned readings.

Nancy Pearl is a renowned librarian from Seattle who believes a person’s obligation to finish a book is not cast in stone, and she came up with the Rule of 50 for dropping a bad book after she had been asked many times for some kind of formula. Thank you, Nancy.

Nancy Pearl action figure, taking appropriate precautions with a DIY mask.

Database of the Month: OverDrive

Read for Free from a Phone, Tablet or Laptop through the Bentley Library

December is a great time to highlight the Library’s OverDrive Collection. As you pack up to go home for the holidays, remember the OverDrive downloadable collection is available for you to enjoy on break, anywhere, 24×7 on any device.

This collection includes thousands of fiction and nonfiction titles including many bestsellers and award winners.

Simply click into OverDrive to view our newest additions or to browse the ebook and audiobook collections by subject, format or genre.  You may browse the available titles without logging in. You only need to log in when you decide to borrow a title.

Some features of OverDrive:

  • This service is free to you with your Bentley e-mail address and network password.
  • All titles will automatically expire at the end of the lending period which is 21 days. There are no late fees and if your time runs out, you can just borrow it again.
  • If a title is checked out, place a hold and you are e-mailed when the title is available.
  • For titles with multiple holds, the Library will purchase additional copies decreasing wait times.
  • The plus sign under a title adds to the title to your personal wish list and you can use your wish list to pull up available content when you have the free time to enjoy it.
  • Curated lists, available from the OverDrive homepage, include: Great American Reads, Newest Additions, Most Popular, Try Something Different, Banned & Challenged Books, and Presidential Biographies. Just scroll the main screen to view these curated lists.
  • Each title is selected and added to the collection by your Bentley Librarians, and new titles are added each month.
  • Bentley students, faculty & staff can suggest titles for purchase using the Suggest a Purchase form.

To get started enjoying ebooks & audiobooks on your device visit Getting Started with OverDrive.

If you need help with this service, help is always available at the Reference Desk and there is a special Overdrive Winter Break Reading session scheduled from 11 to noon on Reading Day in Group Study Room 102. Just bring your device and we’ll get you set up.


Database of the Month provides a very brief introduction to a useful website or Library resource, highlighting key features you should know about. If you would like more information about this resource (or any of the library’s databases), please contact us for research assistance. If you would like a demonstration of this resource for a class, please schedule a research instruction class using the instruction request form.

Learn About Downloadable Books at Our OverDrive Clinics

overdriveclinicHave you checked out our OverDrive collection recently?  We’ve been busy adding downloadable ebooks and audiobooks – including current bestsellers Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee, The Widow by Fiona Barton, Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg and perennial favorites by authors like J.R.R. Tolkien, Bill Bryson and John Irving, and classics by Jane Austen and Bram Stoker.

Simply click into OverDrive to view our Newest Additions or to browse the ebook and audiobook collections by genre or check out the Getting Started Guide.

If you haven’t already set-up your laptop, Kindle, iPad, NOOK, smartphone or other device, we’d love to help you get started. We are holding two drop-in clinics this week to answer questions about Overdrive:

OverDrive Downloadable Books Clinics

Tuesday, April 12
2:30PM – 3:30PM
Thursday, April 14
4:30PM – 5:30PM

No RSVP is required – just come to our classroom (lower level, room 11) and we’ll be there to lend you a helping hand! If you bring your device with you, we can help you with the initial set-up or troubleshoot any problems you’ve been having. We hope to see you there.

All About Data: Big & Small


On display, from November 17, 2015 to January 4, 2016, at the Bentley Library is an interdisciplinary collection of books highlighting research about data. Included are popular and scholarly works about collecting it, obtaining it, analyzing it, evaluating it and finally accounting for it.

Visit the library and browse through the physical display located in front of The McGladrey Art Gallery or view the contents of the display online. If you see something online you would like, just request it through the library catalog, and you will be notified when the item is available on the hold shelf for you.

Many of the titles in this collection are also available electronically through Books 24× and Overdrive Downloadable Books.

To highlight a few:

Books 24×
(Of note: Multiple users can view the same content at the same time.)

Overdrive Downloadable Books:
(Of note: Downloadable content is checked out to one user at a time.)

We hope that you enjoy this display. If you notice we are missing a title on this topic, please feel free to suggest a purchase.

Stock your iPad, Kindle & other mobile devices with OverDrive eBooks

Did you know that we now offer more than 1,200 downloadable eBooks and audiobooks via OverDrive?  The Bentley Library’s OverDrive collection includes fiction and nonfiction bestsellers, award winners, classics and perennial favorites. Current Bentley students, faculty and staff can borrow eBooks and audiobooks from OverDrive at using a Bentley email address and password.   New titles are added monthly, so check back often.

OverDrive eBooks and audiobooks can be enjoyed on all major computers and mobile devices, including iPhone®, iPad®, NOOK®, Android™ phones and tablets, and Kindle®. Many eBooks can be also read immediately (no download required) on any device with an internet browser. Bentley users may checkout up to five OverDrive titles at a time for a borrowing period of 21 days. Titles will automatically expire at the end of the lending period, so there are no late fees! If you are new to OverDrive, check out their Getting Started page for information and assistance. Enjoy!


A New Way to Search, Find & Access OverDrive Downloadable Books

At the Bentley Library, we offer a lot of resources for study and coursework, but we also think that there’s a place for recreational reading in an academic library. You think so too, judging from checkout rates of our Popular Reading and audiobook collections.

Last year, we debuted OverDrive Downloadable Books, a collection of fiction and nonfiction electronic books and audiobooks for users who use mobile devices and computers. Initially, searching and browsing these books was limited to the website from which they are downloaded. Now, our entire OverDrive collection of e-books and e-audiobooks (currently 347 e-books and 237 e-audiobooks, but growing all the time!) is also searchable in both versions of our library catalog! We’ve made searching for and downloading these titles easy, whether you enter a search by using the single search box on our homepage or by using the Classic Catalog link under that box.

Once a search is entered, the search result display clearly indicates whether the title is an e-book or an e-audiobook. The records feature a direct link (via a Bentley login page) to the item in OverDrive Downloadable Books. Most records also contain a link to an excerpt of the e-book/e-audiobook, allowing for “test driving” before starting the checkout process.

In the single search box display, you can access those links from the search results page, as below, or from the individual e-book/e-audiobook page that displays when you click on the title link.

Click to View Larger Image - Encore OverDrive Screenshot
The Age of Innocence is available to download as an e-book or an e-audiobook via OverDrive.

In the Classic catalog, only the direct link to the e-book/e-audiobook, titled Access this Resource, appears on the search page, as below; both the search and the excerpt links appear on the individual e-book/e-audiobook page that displays when you click on the title link.

Click to View Larger Image - Classic Catalog Overdrive Screenshot
The e-book version of The Age of Innocence as it appears in our classic catalog.

If you would prefer to use the catalog to browse the collection, you can easily see a list of the entire OverDrive collection in either catalog version. Using the single search box, type “overdrive” in the box, then on the left side of the page, click “OverDrive” under the Location heading. Or, in the Classic catalog, click the Advanced Search link. Choose “OverDrive” as the location, and type an asterisk (*) in the first search box.

If you’d prefer to continue searching/browsing directly at the OverDrive web page, links to OverDrive Downloadable Books are still available on the Library’s home page in the Quick Links section, the Research dropdown menu under Search >> ebooks, and the Databases A-Z list.

We are really excited to help you add to your reading list via the library catalog. If there is something you’d like to see added to the collection, let us know by clicking the Suggest a Purchase link on our home page. Happy reading and listening!

Database(s) of the Month: Ebooks at the Bentley Library

Historically, databases of electronic books have often been limited to on-screen viewing and limited printing. Now, with easier availability to affordable personal devices that allow you to read on the go, downloadable books have gained in popularity. The Bentley Library provides both types of ebook databases. Whether you are downloading the latest fiction and nonfiction to take to the beach, studying for licensing or other examinations, or researching and writing a paper, we have a database for that!

Overdrive Downloadable BooksOverdrive Downloadable Books

What’s included? Over 500 eBooks and audiobooks with an emphasis on classic and popular fiction and nonfiction, but including some research materials. New materials are added on an ongoing basis; suggestions for new materials are welcomed at our Suggest a Purchase page.

Is it downloadable? Every book and audiobook in this collection may be downloaded to some combination of computers, tablets, e-readers, smartphones, mp3 players and iPods. Available formats include Kindle, ePub, and PDF for ebooks, and mp3 and WMA for audiobooks. Not all formats are available for all titles.

How does it work? Browse by category, or search the database by keyword, title, author/creator, subject, and more. Then, follow the download instructions provided on the title’s information page.

How to gain access? Direct access is via Overdrive Downloadable Books. A Bentley username and password is required to use the database both on- and off-campus.  In addition, depending on your desired format and device, you may need to download additional software. More information is available in the Getting Started area on the Overdrive home page.

Books 24×7Books 24x7

What’s included?  Books on business, finance, information technology, health and wellness, and productivity. Also included: study guides for exams such as the CFA, and software manuals for business and statistics applications such as SAS and SPSS.

Is it downloadable? Books in this database are presented in electronic format, but must be read on a computer screen.

How does it work? This database is searchable by title, author, keyword, publisher and more, and browsable by broad topic areas such as Business, Finance, IT/Technical and Well-Being. Clicking on a title displays a linked Table of Contents, from which you can navigate the book’s content. If you conducted a keyword search, your search terms appear in the Top Section Hits area.

How to gain access? Direct access is via (Business & IT Books). A Bentley username and password is required to use the database both on- and off-campus.

EBSCO EbooksEBSCO Ebooks

What’s included?  Nearly 8000 electronic books are included in this general-interest collection. Both scholarly and popular titles are available.

Is it downloadable? The full PDF text of all books in this database may be viewed on-screen. Printing and/or emailing documents is possible, but is limited.

How does it work? Using the EBSCO search interface, browse by category, or search the database by keyword, title, author, subject, and more. Click the link titled eBook Full Text to view the content, then navigate using the linked Table of Contents, or jump to desired sections using the search box.

How to gain access? Direct access is via EBSCO eBooks. A Bentley username and password is required to use the database off-campus.

Safari Tech Books (ProQuest)Safari Tech Books

What’s included? 150 books from the O’Reilly publishing series, focused on technology, digital media, and desktop and Web applications. Sample titles include Designing Social Interfaces, Javascript: the Definitive Guide and Analyzing Business Data with Excel.

Is it downloadable? Books in this database are presented in electronic format, and can be read on the computer screen in HTML or in the Safari Books Viewer. Books can be printed two ways: by chapter in HTML format, or by page in the Safari Books Viewer format. Users may also email a link to the book for later viewing.

How does it work? Search this database by author, subject, or software vendor, or browse by category or software vendor. Once you’ve chosen a book, you can search within the book, or read it via the links provided in the Table of Contents.

How to gain access? Direct access is via Safari Books – Tech Books Database. Off-campus, a Bentley username and password is required to use the database.

In addition to the direct links above, all of these databases may be found at the Databases A-Z page on the Library’s website. If you would like assistance with searching and/or downloading material, please contact us. Happy reading and researching!


Database of the Month provides a very brief introduction to an important research database, highlighting key features of the database that you should know about. If you would like more information about this database (or any of the library’s databases) please contact the Reference Desk.  If you would like a demonstration of this database for a class, please contact our Coordinator of User Education, Elizabeth Galoozis.