Getting Started with Freading

Downloading and reading eBooks is as easy as 1-2-3 with Freading, an eBook service free to Calgary Public Library cardholders.  The Freading collection offers over 15,000 eBooks and counting, with new titles added weekly. Freading ebooks are always available for downloading using a token system, with no wait times.

How does Freading work?

As a “Freader” you’ll receive 4 tokens every Monday morning. Tokens are virtual currency which you can exchange for eBook downloads. Any unused tokens at the end of the week will roll over to the next week, for a total of 4 weeks. Downloads cost anywhere from 4 tokens to 1 token, usually depending on the ebook’s publishing date.

What do I need to begin?

You’ll need a valid Calgary Public Library card, and an Adobe ID account, to authorize Adobe Digital Editions on computer and ereader. (If you use Overdrive you might already have an Adobe ID). 

How do tokens work?

The first time you log in you’ll receive 4 tokens. Near the top right corner of the screen you’ll see: Tokens 0/4. This means that you have accumulated 4 tokens and you’ve used 0.  If you don’t use any tokens the first week, on Monday of your second week your display will read: Tokens 0/8, and so on for 4 weeks. Let’s say you download one book worth 2 tokens your first week. Your display will read: Tokens 2/4, meaning out of 4 accumulated tokens, you’ve used 2. At the end of the 4th week, and unused tokens are removed from your account, and you start again with 4 tokens.

Can I renew my books?

The loan period for Freading ebooks is two weeks and books can be renewed for one 2 week period by going back to Freading and clicking on My Downloads and hitting the Redownload button again.  Renewals for the newest, and/or most popular books cost 1 token, but most renewals are free. Renewals don’t have to be consecutive to the first renewal; you can renew your book at any time in the future.

Can I download to multiple devices?

You can download your ebooks to a total of three devices with Adobe Digital Editions, so you could have the same ebook on your computer, your Kobo and your smartphone.

Which devices are compatible with Freading?

Many popular devices are compatible with Freading. These are just some examples:

  • PC or Mac computers (with direct downloading from our site)
  • Apple iPad and iPhone (with the Freading app from iTunes)
  • Android tables and phones (with the Freading app from Google Play)
  • Non-Android Market tablets and smartphones (with the Freading app from Getjar)
  • ereaders like the Nook, Sony Reader and Kobo (with transfer from your computer)

Freading on a Computer and eReader (PDF)

  1. Using an Internet browser, visit
  2. Log in using your Library Card Number and PIN.
  3. Download and install Adobe Digital Editions (if you don’t already have it installed). Follow the prompts on the screen to create an Adobe ID.
  4. Browse the collection for an eBook.
  5. Click on the eBook cover and select the Download EPUB link below the cover.
  6. A dialog box will appear. Click the Open button to proceed with the download. Note: If you are using Safari on a Mac, you will have to open the Downloads folder and double-click on the eBook file to open it.
  7. The eBook will open in Adobe Digital Editions. You can now read the eBook on your computer.
  8. To transfer your eBook to an eReader, connect your eReader to your computer.
  9. Adobe Digital Editions will recognize the device the first time you plug it in. Go through the setup assistant to activate your eReader.
  10. On the top corner of the screen, click on the Library View option. The eReader icon will appear on the left panel of the screen.
  11. Drag the eBook from the borrowed items list and drop it on top of the device’s icon. The eBook will be transferred to your device.

How do Freading apps work?

The functionality of the Freading apps vary depending on which device you’re using. With Apple devices, you must use the Safari browser on your device to download Freading eBooks. You use the app to store, and to read the eBook. The Android app allows you to download and read the eBook. 

Freading on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch (PDF)

  • Download the Freading app from iTunes
  • Using the Internet browser on your device, visit
  • Log in using your Library Card Number and PIN.
  • Browse the collection for an eBook.
  • Tap on the book cover and select the Download EPUB link below the cover.
  • A new window will appear for you to choose an app. Tap the Open in… button and select the Freading app from the list of available options.
  • The first time you download a book with Freading it will say “Download Failed,” press the “i” to the right of the book cover, enter your Adobe ID and password and click Activate to activate your device with Adobe ID.

Freading on an Android Device (PDF)

  1. Download the Freading app for Android.
  2. Once installed, open the Freading app and select the app options button.
  3. Tap on the Store option.
  4. Browse the collection for an eBook.
  5. Tap on the eBook cover and click the Login to Download link below the cover. A new page will appear, enter your postal code and tap on the Find Local Library option.
  6. Select Calgary Public Library.
  7. Log in using your Library Card Number and PIN.
  8. Tap on the Download EPUB link to download the eBook.
  9. Open the eBook with the Freading app. The first time you open an eBook you may be prompted to activate the app with an Adobe ID.

More questions?

Visit the Freading FAQs.