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How to borrow kindle books from your public library

Updated on April 21, 2012

I own a kindle and I feel like I own the kingdom of wisdom. Not only I can visit an endless library, lazy relaxing on my sofa, dressed in my favourite pajama, but I can also have the books I want in seconds. And more, not only I’m paying at least three times less for my ebooks comparing with paper books, but I can get them for free. How is that for a deal!

One of my favourite ways to choose books for my Kindle is to browse the public library. I go to its website, choose a book or more and download them to my kindle. That’s how, lately, I borrow kindle books from my local library.
Thanks to the OverDrive service, the procedure is very easy and, best part, it is free.

Downloading ebooks from your public library to your Kindle is a very easy process.
You need to have a kindle, a library card and an amazon account.

If you don’t have a kindle, go to amazon and buy one. To get the most benefits, get at least a Wi-Fi one.

Kindle touch
Kindle touch | Source

How to borrow kindle books from your public library

If you don’t have a library card, go to a public library, in the county you reside and get one.
To find a library, you can go to National Center for Education Statistics and do a search by state and zip code. You can access the page here.

Go, in person, to your local library and fill up an application for a Library card. It will arrive to you in less then two weeks but they will give you a temporary one that works just fine. Once you got a card, temporary or permanent, go ahead and register on the library’s website. Also, check to see if you can register online to multiple public libraries, as some may have a close collaboration.

If you don’t have an Amazon account, just go to their website and sign up for one.

If you own these three things, the kindle, the library card and and an amazon account, then you are all set.

Here are some basic instruction on how to borrow books for kindle from your local library.

Keep in mind that the websites are different from state to state and sometimes from county to county and even town to town.

1. Go to your local library website. If you don’t know it, just do a search for “public library” + your state + your county.

2. Find the Books tab and hoover the mouse over it, or click it. Your objective is to find the “Downloads” button. Click on it.

3. On the next screen you need to look for the OverDrive Button, that looks like the picture below:

Note: Some sites have skipped this step. Instead, they made it easier with only an “idownloads” or “ebooks” button.

4. From the next screen you can browse the books available from download. Not all books have made it yet to an electronic format and, depending on your local resources, you’ll find, or not, the titles you want. Novels were the first ones to be loaded, fallowed by a miscellaneous selection of non-fiction books. Also, not all ebooks are available for Kindle, though at my library almost all are.

Once you find the book or books you want, click on it and then click on “Add to Cart” or "request this item". If you want to get more then one, check with your local library to see how many books you can get at once. My library gives me 2 at a time. Also, be aware that the books in your cart may stay there for a limited time.

5. The next screen will ask you to sign in to your public library account. You can sing in at the beginning and skip this step when you are ready to check out.

6. Once you are logged in and have selected your books, you can proceed to check out.

7. Select the the period you want to borrow. It may be different at your location, but mine allows us to choose between 7, 14, or 21 days.

8. Click “Get for Kindle”. At this point, the OverDrive redirects you to your Amazon account, where you’ll see a screen like this:

9. Click “Get Library Book” .

10. click “Download Now”. But before, make sure you are connected to the Internet, by turning on the Wi-Fi on your Kindle.

If you don’t have Wi-Fi, then it is time for that USB cable that came with your Kindle.

First, you will download the book into your computer.

Connect the USB cable to your computer then connect it to your Kindle.
A new window appears, asking you to make a choice, either open, either save the file. Click “Save File”. At this point, you can choose to download your book on a specific folder, where, for example, you may keep all your borrowed book, or you can let it go wherever the default is set, probably on your Downloads folder.
Make sure you know remember the location of your book, as you need to transfer it to your Kindle.

Second, get the book on your kindle.

When the download is completed, go to My Computer icon and click it. Locate your kindle, must be among the drivers. It should say “Kindle”
Then locate the folder where you saved your book and open it. Click on the book you want to transfer to your Kindle. Drag and Drop the file on to the Kindle.

Now, after you have read these instruction, go ahead and pay an electronic visit to your local library and borrow your first kindle book. Make sure to take a look around and get familiar with the “downloads” policy, as some public library may restrict the numbers of books you can borrow and the amount of time you can have it. Also, check if it is renewable or not.
Enjoy reading.
And, just for your need to make a special trip to drop it when you are done with it! It just go back by itself.

If you are done with it before the lending period, you can return it right away and get another one.

To return a kindle book that you borrowed from a public library, just go to, from the homepage select "Your account" located on the upper right corner, scroll dow to "Digital Content" and choose "Manage Your Kindle" and click on it, you will be redirected to a page with all your books. Click the one from the library, then choose "Action" on the right and select "Return to Library". And that's it. Within minutes, you can borrow a new one.

Happy reading.

For more on how to get free and cheap kindle books read my latest article.


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    • mscott45 profile image

      Michelle Booth 

      6 years ago from UK

      Well explained - thank you.

    • viveresperando profile image


      6 years ago from A Place Where Nothing Is Real

      I love my Kindle, did not know that I could download from my library, so excited! :)

    • twoseven profile image


      7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      This is so helpful! We got a Kindle for Christmas, but we have not at all been using it to its full potential. I was just wondering about this exact topic, and I'm so glad I came across your hub! Voted up!

    • cameciob profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Hi rebekahElle, and thanks for stopping by. As you said, i have too many books on my kindle too, more then I can read. The good part about the public library is that I can get some books that i want to read but I cannot afford to buy. which is awsome!

    • rebekahELLE profile image


      7 years ago from Tampa Bay

      I didn't know this! Thanks so much for writing an informative hub about a great service. I have a Kindle, and yet sometimes don't want to buy new books, (as I have too many now to read), but borrowing books on our Kindles is fantastic news. Thanks!

    • cameciob profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thank You Rebecca, indeed, it is an easy process and I'm so happy It is available for public. No more trips to the library on cold,snowy days!

    • cameciob profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Deborah, I have benn thinking the same thing, until one day I went In my local public library's web site to see if they have a certain book. Not only I found it but it was available for Kindle. I dind't even leave my sofa...

      Thanks for stopping.

    • Rebecca E. profile image

      Rebecca E. 

      7 years ago from Canada

      this is a lesson well learned, and this is awesome, voted up and all that great stuff. This is also easy to understand, which is what-- when it comes to Kindle I need.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      7 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Thank you I have been wondering about this.. I have been thinking I will research it and you did it or me..

      this is so useful and interesting and awesome HUB.



    • cameciob profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      David, It was a learning lesson for me as well.

    • cameciob profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Hi Frank, I will search for your book. Rganks for the visit.

    • David Legg 7 profile image

      David Legg 7 

      7 years ago from Trout Paradise, Colorado

      Great information packaged in a great step by step format. Thank you for doing all the work to put this together!


    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      7 years ago from Shelton

      Now this was a very useful Hub.. yeah thank you :) Frank


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