What is OverReader?

If you have a Goodreads account and you answer yes to either or both of these questions:

  • Do you use Libby and/or your library's OverDrive site to check out ebooks and/or audiobooks?
  • Do you have Kindle Unlimited?
then OverReader is for you. OverReader will look at one of your Goodreads shelves and then search for all those books on your library's Libby/OverDrive site and/or on Kindle Unlimited then let you know the results and lets you easily click through to your library or Amazon to get the book(s). Sound good? Get started!

The name OverReader comes from OVERdrive + goodREADs (plus OverReader could also mean someone who reads too much).

Do I need to signup or login to use OverReader? Do I have to give you my Goodreads or OverDrive/Libby login?

No, no, no, and... NO! You just need to enter two pieces of non-private info (see the next two questions) to use the site. No signup/login/password necessary or anything to remember. You may want to bookmark the search results page to get back to it easily so you don't have to keep filling out the search form.

What is a "Goodreads shelf URL"?

It's simply a shareable link to a Goodreads shelf. To get the link to one of your Goodreads shelves, go to Goodreads and click on "My Books" at the top. On the next page, just click on one of the shelves listed on the left (you probably want your "to-read" shelf). Once you're viewing the shelf you want to search for, copy the URL from the address bar in the browser. For example, my Goodreads to-read shelf URL is https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/5535346?shelf=to-read. Yours should look similar (though may have extra info in the URL). OverReader needs this to get the list of books to search for you.

NOTE: Your shelves MUST be public for this to work. To verify your shelves are public, go to your profile settings page and look at the "Who can view my profile:" section. The top option, "anyone (including search engines)", must be chosen. If it's not, OverReader can't get to your shelf.

How do I find my library?

To get the name of your library from Libby...
  1. Open the Libby app and click the middle "3 line" icon at the bottom. That will show you "Your Libraries".
  2. use that name in the OverReader library chooser to find your library

My Goodreads shelf has more than 800 books but I only get 800 results - why?

For now, there is a 800 book limit per shelf to conserve server resources and not overload the server. I may raise this in the future if enough people want it higher.

How accurate and up to date is the data?

This is a question with nuanced answers.

  • OverReader gets your Goodreads shelf data from the Goodreads shelf RSS feed. From my testing, when you add a new book to your shelf, the new book doesn't show up in the RSS feed immediately. I haven't determined the exact delay, but there is a delay, and at times it's significant (15 minutes or more). So if you add a book to your shelf then immediately use OverReader, the new book you added may not be searched if it's not in the Goodreads RSS feed yet. So you may need to wait or try a few times to see your new book(s). OverReader does not cache or store the Goodreads shelf contents though - it always goes and gets the RSS feed fresh, every time you search.
  • To save on resources, OverReader caches the OverDrive search results. So if you run a search and then your library immediately adds/removes your book, then you search again, the search results won't reflect this until it re-queries.
  • Similarly, we also cache the Kindle Unlimited results. The accuracy is complicated further because Goodreads doesn't always have the correct Kindle Unlimited info. As I write this, Goodreads says one of the books on my to-read shelf is NOT available on Kindle Unlimited, but it actually is.
It's possible we can do more real-time searches in the future if the site starts to pay for itself and we can afford to add in more resources.

Is OverReader affiliated with Goodreads and/or OverDrive?

Nope. OverReader was created by one person, Brian, who happens to use both Goodreads and OverDrive/Libby, wanted an easy way to find the books from his Goodreads to-read shelf at his local OverDrive/Libby library, and just so happens to have the coding skills to make this all come together. Brian figured others might want to do this too so he made it into a website that everyone can use. He also enjoys coding and thinks this stuff is fun (crazy, right?). Brian also enjoys speaking about himself in the third person.

The footer of each page says the site is by "Pipasoft" - who/what is that?

Pipasoft is just one person, Brian (see previous question), not some big corporation. Pipasoft is just the main "business" Brian operates as.

I love this site! How can I support it?

I'm so glad you asked! I made a separate page dedicated to support!

  1. Donate: The site has monthly hosting costs, so if you can spare a buck or two, that would go a long way toward keeping the site running.
  2. Amazon links: The Amazon links on the site are affiliate links. Basically, if you click any of the Amazon links then buy ANYTHING on Amazon (not just the book you clicked), OverReader (me) will get a very small percentage of the sale.
  3. Social: If you can't or don't want to donate or use Amazon links (or even if you do), please share this site on social media. Tweet it, post it on Facebook, etc. Help me get the word out. Maybe someone else will also find OverReader useful.
My goal is to keep the site ad-free if at all possible, so it needs to make a few bucks here and there from donations and Amazon to sustain itself. At a bare minimum it just needs to cover hosting costs.

What coding technologies did you use to create the site?

My fellow geek! I actually made a separate tech page dedicated to this question!

What are your privacy policies? Are you tracking me?

OverReader keeps stats about what people are doing on the site - things like "the most searched books", "the most searched libraries", etc. (and eventually there will be a public page where everyone can view those stats). Since there are no logins/passwords, we don't have those to store or keep secret. But...we won't link to users' shelves outside of the actual search results, regardless. Also, we don't intentionally keep logs of IP addresses used to access the site, but I'm sure there is a log of that somewhere.

OverReader does use Google Analytics to keep track of what pages are visited, but this info doesn't come to me directly and as far as I know, there is no identifying info about you.

Having said all of this, if "the law" knocks on my door and wants any/all of the data OverReader has, I will gladly hand it over to them, even though I wouldn't have much more than what Goodreads and/or OverDrive/Libby already has. If you're not comfortable with this, please don't use OverReader.

So if a U.S. government entity issued a subpeona to OverReader to divulge data or logs, you'd rat me out?

Holy crap, yes. I'm not going to jail for you, I have a boyish face and very supple skin. *

*response blatantly stolen from an old FAQ at mailinator.com