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a man reading a library book on his kindle while enjoying a sunset on a mountaintop

How to Borrow Library E-Books on Your Kindle

How to Get Library Books on Kindle

Did you know there is a term for getting lost in a good book? It's called "transportation". Escaping from our everyday world, we find ourselves in the center of a plot surrounded by a new environment and new people. That's why some researchers believe we get so much pleasure and enjoyment from reading fiction. Now, with more options than ever, you can even get library books on Kindle!

Have you ever found yourself feeling a little down when you've finished a good novel or discovering that you don't "click" with the one that you borrowed from the library? If the weather is dismal or you need transport to get back to the library, it's not always easy or convenient to make the journey.

But there is an answer! Did you know that you can now borrow Kindle e-books from many libraries in the US? And it's not just fiction; there's also non-fiction, audiobooks and magazines to choose from too. We did some quick checks on just how many books you could get access to and discovered that in the Miami area, for example, you have access to over 27,000 fiction and 13,000 non-fiction books!

So that means within a couple of clicks, you can have access to a whole library of reading material, all waiting for you to explore.

What Do I Need?


An Amazon Account

If you already have a Kindle, then you'll have an Amazon account all set up. If not, then it's a quick and easy process on the Amazon website (Amazon.com). You simply need to click on the option to “Create an Amazon Account”.

A Kindle

You can use the service with a whole range of technology, but for this article, we're going to focus on using a kindle. If you don’t have one yet, they can be easily purchased directly from the Amazon website.

Amazon also now has several physical stores that you can visit, and these can be an excellent option for getting help and advice on your purchase. You can find their locations by searching for Amazon Book Stores on their website.

Internet Access

To connect to the service and access the books, you'll need internet access. If you're not connected at home, many coffee shops, shopping centers and libraries all provide free public internet access.

Library Card

If you're not already a member of your local library, you'll need to join because you'll need some of the information from your library card to sign up for the online library service. Some libraries even let you do this online, and then you'll have your card in minutes; others still need you to go in and join in person. Have a look at the signing up process below to find out which you need to do.

Signing Up

The e-book library service is provided by a company called OverDrive. They have lots of information on their website to guide you through signing up, but we found that the easiest way was to use their Libby service, which you can find here.

This website will help you find out what services your local library offers; whether you need to go to the library to get a card if you don't yet have one, and then take you through the signup process.

Borrowing an E-Book

So now that you're all signed up, you're ready to access your first book! You can actually borrow up to twenty e-books at a time, but don't forget that there will be restrictions on how long you can have access to each one for. These are generally 7, 14 or 21 days, but the lending period options can vary by library.

Once you've found the book you'd like to borrow, you'll see there are a few options:

  • Borrow: to download and have access to the whole book.
  • Read a Sample: read a small section of the book and see if it catches your attention and if you want to read more.
  • Tag: you're interested but don't want to read it just yet. Tagging will let you quickly find the book another time.

To Borrow

1. Click on the borrow button.
2. If you're not already signed in, you'll be asked to do that now.
3. Choose a lending period. For some books, you can choose how long you want to borrow the book for, and that's often 7, 14 or 21 days. For others, you might find that there's a fixed lending time.
4. Select "read now with kindle".
5. You'll now be taken to the Amazon website to finish the process.
6. Sign in to your Amazon account if it's not signed in already.
7. Make sure that you've selected that the delivery should be to your kindle.
8. Finally, press the "get library book" button.

Book on Hold

There may be times when you can't immediately borrow a title. This is usually because another user has already borrowed it, or it may be because the title hasn't yet been released.

So, in this situation, you may be able to place a hold on the title. This means that you'll receive an email to let you know when it becomes available for you.

To place a hold on the title:
1. Tap the place a hold button, which you'll find right under the title.
2. If you've already provided an email address, then the hold will be placed automatically.
3. If not, enter and confirm the email address when prompted.
4. Click place a hold.
5. Once available, the book will be automatically checked out to you, and you'll receive an email to let you know that it's waiting for you on the loans page.

Now that you know how to get library books on Kindle, you're ready to explore thousands of publications from the comfort of your own home!