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Where Can I Borrow eBooks?

Updated on November 22, 2014

How To Get Free eBooks For Your eReader

Many users of eReaders actively seek out free eBooks to download to their e-reading device, unaware that the best source of bestsellers and other popular eBooks free of charge is the local public library. Yes, you can borrow library books on an eReader. Not only does it work just like borrowing physical books from the library, there is the added bonus of not needing to visit the library to borrow or return eBooks!

Curious how you can read popular eBooks for free on your device? Read more and you too will be able to answer your friends when they ask you, "where can I borrow eBooks for free?"

Image of iPad courtesy of

Did You Know?

Did You Know You Could Borrow Library Books For Free On An eReader?

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What You Need To Borrow eBooks For Free From Your Library

1) A library card

2) Your login information for your library's web catalog

3) Confirmation that your library is supported by OverDrive for eBooks.

In most cases, you will need Adobe Digital Editions - free download.

Find A Library!

You can search for your library system on OverDrive's website directly.

Can I Borrow eBooks On A Kindle Fire? - Yes, You Can!

The Kindle is easily the most popular eReader in the marketplace, and the new Kindle Fire appears to be the first serious competition for the iPad in the tablet computer market. For most of the Kindle's existence, Kindle users were unable to borrow library books and were essentially forced to obtain books from

No More.

In September 2011, Amazon announced a partnership with OverDrive, the main eBook providers to libraries, enabling library patrons to borrow books in the Kindle format for reading on their Kindle. Click the link for further information on how to download library books to the Kindle .

Can I Borrow eBooks On My iPad? - Of Course You Can!

Barnes & Nobles' Nook family of eReaders all support free eBook downloads from your library. You can visit this page for details and directions specific to the Nooks.

Is Your eReader Or Tablet Compatible?

You can confirm your device's compatibility with OverDrive's eBooks on their device resource list.

Adobe Digital Editions Screenshot
Adobe Digital Editions Screenshot

Basic Steps On Downloading eBooks Free From Your Library

NOTE: These are general directions that apply to most devices. The Kindle has different directions and you can read them here.

NOTE: You need to have Adobe Digital Editions installed on your computer for these directions. It is a free download.

1) Login to your library's web catalog via your computer.

2) Search their eBook catalog and borrow an eBook you find interesting.

3)You will be given the option to download the book to your computer. When the dialog box pops up, select the option to "open file with Adobe Digital Editions".

4) The book you downloaded will appear in the library section of the Adobe Digital Editions program.

5) Connect your eReader to your computer.

7) You will be prompted to authorize the eReader to access Adobe Digital Editions. You will also need an Adobe ID to complete the authorization process. You will be prompted to setup an Adobe ID if you don't have one.

8) When you have completed the authorization process, your eReader will appear on the lower left side of the screen on Adobe Digital Editions.

9) Click on the book in the library section of Adobe Digital Editions, and drag it over the icon representing your eReader. There should be a green dot type icon that appears. Release your mouse button.

10) A dialogue should appear saying the file is transferring.

11) Finally, click on the icon for your eReader to confirm the book you transferred is now listed in your eReader's library.

Video Tutorials

Here are some video tutorials demonstrating how to borrow eBooks for free from the public library.

Are You A Library Patron?

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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great resource. Love it.

    • Soapmarked profile image


      8 years ago from TX

      We use it all the time. I use it also for Kindle books but didn't know I could be ebooks for the iPad, too. Thanks!

    • OrlandoTipster profile image


      8 years ago

      Learn something new everyday.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Both myself and my wife are librarians. She downloads ebooks to her Nook and I to my iPhone.

    • SheilaMilne profile image


      8 years ago from Kent, UK

      Yes, we use the Sony eReader at our library. It's great for travelling away from home!

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 

      8 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      Yes, I am! And I love your list of resources, thanks!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I find downlaoding e-books to be very useful, I think it's cool to get library book this way as well.

    • profile image

      franstan lm 

      8 years ago

      Yes I download ebooks to my Sony ereader

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      yes, i download ebooks frequently is very easy to do.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Interesting subject you write about, borrowing ebooks will surely become illegal and be considered the same as downloading illegally surely?

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      As a retired librarian, I applaud you promotion of this library service. So many people think the library doesn't have what they want. They are so wrong.

    • profile image

      NorDac LM 

      8 years ago

      Not much, I used to go at times when I was younger. Normally just buy the books I want now.

    • flightofdestiny2 profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for the information


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