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How to Download Your OverDrive History in CSV Format

A row of old books

The Background

As a family we read a ton. I started reading to my kids nightly when they were young and to this day we still have story time almost every night. It is a highlight of our family time together. As a result, my kids also love to read. This became an issue when we found ourselves visiting the library multiple times a week to get more books for my son. So, eventually we just started maxing out our library card. It was not unusual for us to have 50 books checked out. That, however, brings its own set of issues. When you have to return the books it can be a challenge to find them all!

Then we found out that our library partners with OverDrive and we can get books for our kids in e-book format with the click of a few buttons. (You should be hearing Handel’s Messiah playing in your head right now) Our world changed forever. Gone were the multiple trips to the library or searching high and low for missing books.

After much research we found out that we could get Amazon Fire tablets for our kids to use as e-readers (strictly e-readers) and we could load them up with e-books. Many of the books on OverDrive will let you check them out in Kindle format. Then, you simply use Amazon’s parent dashboard and you can share the selected Kindle books to your child’s tablet. It’s a bit of a wonky process, but it works pretty well. Now, we have a different issue entirely. Our kids are flying through books like crazy and I’m constantly researching for new series. Oh well, I guess it’s a good problem to have.

Downloading the history

Well, the other day I wanted to get the history of all the books we have checked out with OverDrive. To my dismay, there was not a way to do this. But, hey I’m a programmer! I can do hard things. So, I decided to work something up. At first I thought I was going to have to screen scrape the data from the OverDrive history page and programmatically next through every history page to compile it all. But then I noticed that when I clicked between the pages of history that the screen did not refresh, which suggested to me that a web service was being called. Voila! After looking through the networking calls being made by OverDrive I discovered their REST API and found out it is pretty easy to use and has a ton of information. So I set to work and here is the fruit of my labor. It is a browser bookmarklet. Simply drag the link below to your web browser’s bookmarks bar to create the bookmarklet. Then, when you are on your OverDrive history page click the bookmarklet. It will download all your history data and compile it into a CSV file that you can open in Excel or any other similar program. I hope it works well for you. Please leave a comment if you find it to be useful.

Bookmarklet:
Download OverDrive History <- drag this to your bookmarks toolbar

The code

Here is the code for the bookmarklet in case you are curious.

var OverDriveHistory = {
	baseURL: window.location.origin,
	restURL: '/rest/readingHistory?page={0}&perPage={1}&sortBy={2}',
	header: 'Title,Sub Title,Author,Series,Publisher,Publish Date,Star Rating,Star Rating Count,Maturity Level,ISBN,Cover Art URL,Borrow Date,Type',
	csv: '',
	currentPage: 1,
	lastPage: -1,
	totalItems: -1,
	pageSize: 100,
	sortBy: '',
	error: false,
	init: function(){
		var t = this;
		if(t.isOverDriveHistoryPage()) {
			if(typeof jQuery == 'undefined') {
				t.getJavaScript('//code.jquery.com/jquery-latest.min.js', function(){
					t.start();
				});
			} else {
				t.start();
			}
		} else {
			alert('Please run this bookmarklet from your OverDrive history page.');
		}
	},
	start: function(){
		var t = this;
		var url = t.baseURL + t.restURL.replace(/\{0\}/g, '1').replace(/\{1\}/g, t.pageSize).replace(/\{2\}/g, t.sortBy);
		
		t.sortBy = jQuery('.AccountSortOptions-sort').val();
		t.showOverlay();
		
		jQuery.ajax({
			url: url
		})
		.done(function(data) {
			t.lastPage = data.links.last.page;
			t.totalItems = data.totalItems;
			t.csv += t.header + '\r\n';
			t.getData();
		})
		.fail(function() {
			t.error = true;
			t.finalize();
		});
	},
	getJavaScript: function(url, success){
		var script = document.createElement('script');
		var head = document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0];
		var done = false;
		
		script.src = url;
		script.onload = script.onreadystatechange = function(){
			if(!done && (!this.readyState || this.readyState == 'loaded' || this.readyState == 'complete')) {
				done = true;
				success();
				script.onload = script.onreadystatechange = null;
				head.removeChild(script);
			}
		};

		head.appendChild(script);
	},
	isOverDriveHistoryPage: function(){
		return window.location.href.toLowerCase().indexOf('overdrive.com/account/history') == -1 ? false : true;
	},
	getData: function(){
		var t = this;
		var url  = '';
		var progress = '';

		if (t.currentPage == t.lastPage + 1) {
			t.finalize();
		} else {
			//Set progress
			if (t.currentPage != t.lastPage) {
				progress = (((t.currentPage * t.pageSize) - t.pageSize) + 1) + '-' + (t.currentPage * t.pageSize) + ' of ' + t.totalItems;
			} else {
				progress = (((t.currentPage * t.pageSize) - t.pageSize) + 1) + '-' + t.totalItems + ' of ' + t.totalItems;
			}
			jQuery('#history-fetch-progress').text(progress);

			url = t.baseURL + t.restURL.replace(/\{0\}/g, t.currentPage).replace(/\{1\}/g, t.pageSize).replace(/\{2\}/g, t.sortBy);
			jQuery.ajax({
				url: url
			})
			.done(function(data) {
				var isbn = '';
				for(var i = 0; i <data.items.length; i++){
					isbn = '';
					for (var x = 0; x < data.items[i].formats.length; x++) {
						if(typeof data.items[i].formats[x].isbn != 'undefined'){
							isbn = data.items[i].formats[x].isbn;
							break;
						}
					}
					
					//Title,Sub Title,Author,Series,Publisher,Publish Date,Star Rating,Star Rating Count,Maturity Level,ISBN,Cover Art URL,Borrow Date,Type
					t.csv += t.escapeCSV(data.items[i].title) + ','
					+ t.escapeCSV(data.items[i].subtitle) + ','
					+ t.escapeCSV(data.items[i].firstCreatorName) + ','
					+ t.escapeCSV(data.items[i].series) + ','
					+ t.escapeCSV(data.items[i].publisher.name) + ','
					+ t.escapeCSV(data.items[i].publishDate) + ','
					+ t.escapeCSV(data.items[i].starRating) + ','
					+ t.escapeCSV(data.items[i].starRatingCount) + ','
					+ t.escapeCSV(data.items[i].ratings.maturityLevel.name) + ','
					+ t.escapeCSV(isbn) + ','
					+ t.escapeCSV(data.items[i].covers.cover510Wide.href) + ','
					+ t.escapeCSV(data.items[i].historyAddDate) + ','
					+ t.escapeCSV(data.items[i].type.name)
					+ '\r\n';
				}

				t.currentPage += 1;
				t.getData();
			})
			.fail(function() {
				t.error = true;
				t.finalize();
			});
		}
	},
	escapeCSV: function(value){
		var t = this;
		var newValue = value;
		
		if(!newValue){
			newValue = "";
		} else {
			newValue = newValue.toString();
		}
		
		if(newValue.indexOf('"') != -1 || newValue.indexOf(',') != -1 || newValue.indexOf('\r') != -1 || newValue.indexOf('\n') != -1){
			newValue = '"' + newValue.replace(/"/g,'""') + '"';
		}
		
		return newValue;
	},
	showOverlay: function(){
		var t = this;
		var html = '';
		var progress = '';
		
		progress = 'initializing';

		html = '<div id="history-fetch-overlay" style="position: fixed;width: 100%;height: 100%;top: 0;left: 0;right: 0;bottom: 0;background-color: rgba(0,0,0,0.5);z-index: 1000;"><div style="position: absolute;top: 50%;left: 50%;transform: translate(-50%,-50%);color: white;text-align:center;"><div style="font-size: 50px;">Fetching data. Please wait.</div><div id="history-fetch-progress" style="font-size: 30px;">' + progress + '</div></div></div>';
		
		jQuery('body').append(html);
	},
	removeOverlay: function(){
		jQuery('#history-fetch-overlay').remove();
	},
	finalize: function(){
		var t = this;
		if(!t.error) {
			var fileName = "OverDriveHistory.csv";

			if (window.navigator.msSaveOrOpenBlob){
				// IE 10+
				var blob = new Blob([decodeURIComponent(encodeURI(t.csv))], {
					type: 'text/plain;charset=utf-8'
				});
				window.navigator.msSaveBlob(blob, fileName);
			} else {
				var pom = document.createElement('a');
				pom.setAttribute('href', 'data:text/plain;charset=utf-8,' + encodeURIComponent(t.csv));
				pom.setAttribute('download', fileName);
				document.body.appendChild(pom);
				pom.click();
				document.body.removeChild(pom);
			}
		} else {
			alert('Something went wrong. Please try again.');
		}
		
		t.removeOverlay();
	}
};

OverDriveHistory.init();

Update

2/21/2022 – Added publication type and download progress
3/22/2021 – Initial creation

6 thoughts on “How to Download Your OverDrive History in CSV Format”

  1. Davin-

    Thank you so much for contributing this. It is very useful for my collection. I wonder how hard it would be to make two additions:
    1) Add a field to the history download for whether the book is an audiobook or an ebook.
    2) Do the same sort of download for the Overdrive wishlist.

    If you are able to do either, I’m sure I’m not the only person who would appreciate it.
    Very best
    Saul

  2. Davin-
    Also a bug: The script seems to bog down on my New York Public Library Overdrive account that has some 1700 items in the history. I’m a writer who does a lot of research. On NYPL, the script gets stuck on the “Fetching Data. Please Wait.” overlay.

    It works fine on two other overdrive accounts with shorter histories.
    I did need to edit your script for the Montclair NJ Library where the history uses the URL format https://ebccls.overdrive.com/ebccls-montclair/content/account/history

    Thanks, Saul

    1. Hmm, that REST endpoint is not something I’ve seen on my Overdrive accounts. Really, I found the REST API not through any documentation (don’t know that any exists) or anything but by looking at the http requests from my personal accounts. I wonder if there are more that are structured like that. I added in a progress indicator for large accounts so that you know if it stopped working for whatever reason or if it is still processing.

  3. I seem to only be able to download page one of my history in overdrive. Am I doing something incorrectly? I’m using a mac

    1. Do you get any errors when you run it? You should see an overlay show up that says it it fetching the data in chunks of 100. Do you see that?

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