Pro-Tips for Waiting on eBook and eAudiobook Holds

You’re all set to check out the next highly anticipated eBook in your favorite series and then you see it: “Not Currently Available." You resign to the fact that you might need to wait a bit for a copy to become available but then you see there are 96 holds on 20 copies. But don’t freak out – you might still be able to get that book or at least something similar.

When you’re searching in the library catalog, make sure to scroll down and look for multiple entries of your book. San Mateo County Libraries works with multiple eBook and eAudiobook vendors so if you can’t find your title on one platform, it might be available on another. You might also try looking for similar books – either readalikes or books by the same author – on multiple platforms.

Here are a few places to look for eBooks and eAudiobooks:

Axis 360

Baker and Taylor’s Axis 360 has a growing collection of popular eBooks and eAudiobooks for kids and adults. The collection features popular adult fiction and nonfiction including cookbooks and crafts as well as children's picture books and easy readers.

You can read or listen to Axis 360 books on your Android, opens a new window, Apple, opens a new window, or Kindle Fire, opens a new window mobile device with the Axis 360 app, opens a new window. Watch this video to see how to check out Axis 360 titles and read or listen to them on a mobile device.

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Hoopla is a new SMCL online service for eAudiobooks and eBooks, as well as movies, music, comics, and television shows. You can use it on Apple, opens a new window, Android, opens a new window, and Kindle Fire, opens a new window mobile devices, as well as on computers, Apple TV, and Google Chromecast.

The great thing about Hoopla is that there are no holds. That’s right; you can get your books instantly without waiting.

Check out this video on how to create a Hoopla account with your library card.

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Probably the most well-known eBook and eAudiobook platform, OverDrive offers thousands of titles from the Peninsula Library System Digital Book Library. You can read eBooks on a wide variety of devices, including Kindle e-readers.  Our collection is constantly growing so even if a title isn’t available at the moment, you can most likely find something similar to enjoy while you wait out a hold.

Need help checking out a title or getting it on your device? OverDrive also has a robust Help website, opens a new window for troubleshooting.

NoveList and Other Recommendations

Still having trouble finding the right eBook or eAudiobook? NoveList is a service that can help you find books with similar themes or by the same author. When you’re viewing a book in our catalog, you’ll find NoveList recommendations under the “Explore Further.”  This is another good way to find similar books to read while you wait out the holds. If you’re looking for children’s or middle-grade books, you can also check out NoveList K-8.

Do you prefer eBooks or eAudiobooks? Tell us about a recent favorite in the comments.