eBook tips

We’ve all been there.  You find the eBook you’re looking for and all you want is to download it onto your device — and you can’t.  It’s a frustration we share.  We’re working hard behind the scenes to make it easier, but in the mean time here are a few common issues to help you access your eBook quickly and easily.

Not all eBooks are the same.  The people we purchase eBooks from put restrictions on how often they can be used, by how many people, and how much of the book can be viewed at one time.  If you know who provides the eBook, that’ll help us figure out what the issues are.

We have a collection of the major eBook providers, with explanations on the best way to use their systems.  The best thing to do is try and look for logos at the top of the screen.  We can provide a lot more information once we know who that is.

Just as not all eBooks are created equal, neither are eBook readers.  Some eBooks are only available for certain readers or in certain formats.  The most common formats are EPUB, HTML, MOBI, and PDF (DRM and DRM-free).  If your device isn’t loading your eBook correctly, make sure the file format is something the device supports.

Definitely!  A lot of providers have their own apps, but there are a few good, general apps that should let you read your eBook, regardless of file format.

Desktop/laptop

Adobe Digital Editions for PDFs with DRM (digital rights management).

Any other PDF reader. We all have favorites. A few of ours are Skim (Mac), Stanza (Mac and Windows) and Sumatra (Windows).

iOS (links go to iTunes)


Bluefire Reader - free. Supports EPUB, PDF (free and some DRM)

Android (links go to Google Play)

Aldiko - free/$2.99 pro. Supports EPUB, PDF (free and some DRM).

Bluefire Reader - free. Supports EPUB, PDF (free and some DRM)

Moon+ Reader - free/$4.99 pro. Supports HTML, EPUB, MOBI, PDF, TXT and more.

Common Errors

If you are trying to download a chapter, range of pages, or an entire eBook and you are not signed in to a personal ebrary account, the following message will pop up

If you see this message, click OK and then click Sign In from the ebrary eBook display. The Sign In page will allow you to sign in or create a new account, if needed.

Be sure to create an ebrary account. Remember to sign in if you want to

  • Download a chapter or page range as a PDF
  • Download an entire book using Adobe Digital Editions
  • Save links to ebrary books into your Bookshelf
  • Make notes in ebrary books
  • Make highlights in ebrary books
  • Create folders in your Bookshelf to organize your links to ebrary books
  • Share or email folders in your bookshelf that contain links to ebrary books

For more information about personal ebrary accounts, please visit the ebrary support page on accounts and the Bookshelf.

Download limit exceeded error

If you are trying to download a chapter or set of pages from an ebrary eBook, you may get the following error:

This error means that you

  • are trying to download a chapter with more pages than the maximum number of pages allowed to be downloaded or
  • that the page range you are trying to download exceeds the maximum number of pages allowed to be downloaded.

The maximum number of pages available to download from a title will be indicated in the download dialog box as pictured below.

(Please note: the maximum number of pages allowed may be zero, which indicates that the publisher has restricted downloading or printing more than ebrary’s general limit. See the list of publishers that do not allow full-document downloading through ebrary.)

If you receive this error, reduce the number of pages to download.

If you are attempting to download a chapter that exceeds the maximum, you may need to download portions of it across multiple user sessions.

For more information about this error, please visit the ebrary support page on downloading.

Printing error

If you are trying to print a chapter or set of pages from an ebrary eBook, you may get an error similar to the downloading error disscused above.

The general limit for printing from ebrary is 60 pages. However, some publishers restrict printing further. These publishers include:

  • CQ Press
  • Duke
  • Elsevier
  • Wiley
  • Taylor & Francis (except Informa) print and download limit of 30 pages

If you receive an error about printing limits, reduce the number of pages to print.

If you are attempting to print a chapter that exceeds the maximum, you may need to print portions of it across multiple user sessions.

For more information about this error, please visit the ebrary support page on printing.

ebrary is currently updating its interface and has retired its app (as of August 4, 2014).  They now recommend using the Bluefire app for reading ebrary eBooks.