Borrowing Books from your Local Library … for your Kindle!

Screen shot 2013-05-29 at 8.45.43 AMI’m in book-heaven.

I tried the library-to-Kindle experience many months ago and although it was ok, I was underwhelmed at the selection and the “work” to get it right.

But recently I tried again, and things are SO MUCH BETTER that I am giddy with delight.

Imagine… just stop by your computer, and after a few clicks, library books appear on your Kindle to read and enjoy for several weeks. No return necessary, (no late fees!), books just evaporate when your time is up. OR return early and take out more. Like I said… book heaven.

Now of course, all libraries handle things a bit differently, but most libraries are making e-books available to their members in one way or another. Many are subscribing to a single service, called Overdrive. Overdrive is a company that specializes in e-book distribution. If your library is using Overdrive, the process is easy-peasy.

You need three things to borrow a library book for your Kindle (and you don’t have to leave your house to do it!)

1. a Kindle or a Kindle app on your device

2. an active library card from your local public library

3. an Amazon account with your registered Kindle or Kindle app

If you have those three things, you are ready to go!

Here is (generally) how to borrow a book for your Kindle: (may differ slightly depending on your library)

Just go to your library’s website.

Note: At some point during the process you will be asked for you library card number or ID.

Look for an icon or some linked text that will take you to your library’s e-book section. You should see something like: “learn about e-books here!” or “download e-books here”.

Once you navigate to the e-book area, you might (if you’re lucky) see the words ‘powered by overdrive’ or something like that.

You’ll first see a page similar to this one. Choose a category of the kind of books you’d like to browse.

Screen shot 2013-05-24 at 7.25.45 PM

Once you’ve selected a category, you’ll be given the option (I LOVE this) to only see books that are available to be borrowed. In other words, if your library only has the rights to lend out 2 copies of a particular book, and both books are “out”, the book will not show up. This way you don’t waste time clicking on a book and finding out that you can’t have it, now. However, on the flip side of this, you can also put a ‘hold’ on books that are out that you want to borrow …. you can get in line, just like in the brick and mortar library.

Screen shot 2013-05-24 at 7.28.45 PM

Select a book that you would like to borrow. Notice it is available as a Kindle book, so just click on “borrow”.

Screen shot 2013-05-24 at 7.31.46 PM

Once you have selected “borrow” another page will pop up. When I first saw this screen (below), I was a bit confused because in my mind ‘download’ means right to the computer and I didn’t want to do that. But it seemed the logical choice to select, and select it, I did.

Screen shot 2013-05-24 at 7.33.11 PM

That brought me to this screen, where I could select “Kindle” as my to-be-read-upon choice.

Screen shot 2013-05-24 at 7.33.46 PM

I tapped “confirm” and download and the Amazon screen that I am familiar with appeared, but with “get library book” as a choice instead of “buy”.

Screen shot 2013-05-24 at 7.34.33 PM

And with that click… the book appeared on my Kindle in the same manner that it does when I purchase a book. But this time, I borrowed a book. It will stay on my Kindle for two weeks, and then, in Mission Impossible fashion, it will self-destruct. No late fees. No worries.

One point here: my instructions said that the book must be delivered through wireless, not 3G. I am not clear if that is an everywhere-requirement, or just a local one. But if you have wireless in your home, you need not even think about this.

If at any time you want to return the book, go back to your library’s website and navigate to the e-books. You will find a screen that shows you what you have “out” and a button that says “return”. Tap the button and you have returned the book.

This is important because you can only have a book or two or maybe three (depending on your library) out at a time. So if you finish a book, and want another, you must return it first. But if you don’t … there will be no late fee. It will just quietly go away. Poof!

I am astounded at the depth of books available through my local library for the Kindle.

I encourage you to try this. It might seem a bit daunting at first, but once you do it, you will join me in a happy-dance.

And of course if you run into any trouble, you can drop into your local library, and visit the reference desk. I guarantee you that they have instructional brochures and helpful people who can guide you through the process specifically for your local library.

A little work at first, but well worth the effort.

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15 thoughts on “Borrowing Books from your Local Library … for your Kindle!

  1. Incredible idea! Who knew? Once I catch up on the many, many, many unread books on my Kindle, I will have to set about doing this. It will mean getting a new library card, but that shouldn’t pose a problem. Thanks once again for keeping us up on what’s new! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You ROCK!

    • I was incredibly happy with the large assortment of books available to e-borrow. Now if only we could borrow TIME as well, I might be able to read all these books! So many books…. not enough time. πŸ˜†

    • I can’t see why it wouldn’t work. If you can buy a book on Amazon, and your Kindle receives it wirelessly, you should be able to borrow a book and do the same, no problem. (as long as it is connected via wireless, not 3G). Good luck!!! It’s so easy, I plan to be a voracious borrower. πŸ™‚

  2. Amazing. I’ll have to see if my library is part of this. I haven’t borrowed a book from the library for years! Too easy to just read Kindle! πŸ™‚ Now I’ll have to get back into it. I really don’t need to keep every book I read – even on Kindle! πŸ™‚

  3. I keep forgetting that I have a Kindle app on my Ipod. I need to check this out – I know my library has Overdrive. I’m one of those people that will keep renewing the books I checked out online until my number of renewals is up, and then I have to go back to turn in the books. I have made us of my library’s subscription to Freegal though…great way of acquiring music for free.

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