How to Borrow Library Books on Your Kindle

Did you know you could download books to your Kindle through your public library??? Well *I* didn’t.  But I do now! :-)

There are tons of free books to borrow and it’s really easy to do with a Kindle because uses whispernet to wirelessly sync the books with your Kindle…no cable required.

To find out if your library is participating in the program, you can search the OverDrive website. OverDrive, operates a network that provides e-books to libraries around the world.

Here is a step-by-step guide to checking out a Kindle ebook from your public library based on MY library’s system. Yours should be similar.

1. Go to your library’s website.  Get an account if you don’t already have one.

2. Find the link to the digital library.  My library uses OverDrive and your library most likely does as well.  I find the OverDrive site by scrolling down and clicking on the “Downloads” link.

3. After you click Downloads click the “Browse eBooks”

4. That will take you to the Sign In page.  Enter your library card information and Sign In.

5. From there you can add books to your cart and when you’re finished click on the “Proceed to checkout” link to download ebooks to your Kindle. It will show you the date you checked it out and how long you have until it “expires”. (Usually 2 weeks.)

Hopefully this gives you at least an idea of how the process works. It’s super cinchy….but, like I said, will most likely vary slightly depending on your library’s website.

Hard to argue with FREE BOOKS huh? :-)


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    • says

      I agree. I live in Gulfport, MS and the Harrison County Public Library has no ebooks program. I’ll be dead by the time they catch up with the technology. But I doubt there are any libraries that don’t require a “resident” membership to borrow their ebooks.

    • Candy says

      Why not have the best of both worlds! I have 2o bookcases full of books, and almost 1000 free ones on my kindle. You don’t have to let go of the real ones to have the virtual ones!

  1. Nicole says

    Yay Overdrive! I work at my local public library, and I've made it my mission to tell as many people about Overdrive as possible, because it really is that awesome.

    Overdrive also works with the Nook and all the Apple devices. AND it has audiobooks you can download too. I use it all the time on my iPhone. There's an app that lets you download straight to your iPhone and bypass the computer completely. Seriously, how could you not love free downloads?

  2. sharingthanks says

    I have a Sony Reader and the library lets me borrow e-pub books. They have many different formats as well as audio books for your ipod. I love the no return feature! I find it is good to go to the recently returned section and pick a book that I can get right away.

  3. peggy says

    Thanks for spreading the word. I have been doing this for a while now and I love it. I use a Kindle app for my droidX, and there are a few titles that will not sync to a device with an app, but they should be listed as such. Your library can help if you have problems with this (as I have). You can also use the overdrive app to read the epub books from their site, and listen to the audio books. You can also borrow and loan your own Kindle books. There are directions on Amazon's site.
    Good luck.

  4. Rebecca says

    Jenny, I feel your pain! I too love books! I love to fill my bookshelves with them…not only are they well loved but books lend such a coziness to a room. However, I can't deny progress, the digital book is here to stay and is very convenient AND economical. My biggest worry is the future of our beloved libraries…it will be a sad day if they ever fall prey to progress like the Post Office is experiencing :(

  5. Bridget B says

    Hi Jillee–I found out about the ebook thing from my library. Then I found out from a website that there are also websites with books that are free and downloadable. Some of the sites are, freebookspot, Hope you enjoy these! Your blog is AWESOME!

  6. Dana says

    Another great source for free great Kindle ebooks is It sends you an email with 5-12 books free every day. The one catch is you have to download the book the day you get the email, because the specials are usually only one day. I have gotten 100's of books free. Also is a great loaner site, if you loan a book you earn a credit and then with the credit you can borrow a book. I have had great luck with this website.

  7. Renna says

    To those who prefer the feel of a real book in their hands, I can understand that, but I had just about given up reading due to arthritis in my hands making it painful to hold a book open for long. I have no trouble at all with my Kindle Touch, and turning the pages is so simple!

    • says

      My daughter borrows Nook books from the local library all the time. There’s usually a waiting list. Her account is attached to my email so I just let her know when a book is ready for download. They give 3 days from the time the email notification is sent out. If she misses that window she loses the opportunity to download it. Also, renewals aren’t available on borrowed ebooks. If you’re a slow reader like me it’s not worth reading a book for two weeks without being able to finish it.

      • says

        Sorry, that wasn’t supposed to be a reply to Renna’s post. It was meant as a comment to the blog post.

        But…to comment on Renna’s disability. My mom has macular degeneration and is legally blind. She loves to read and thought she’d never be able to enjoy it again because the small print in books made it too difficult. My siblings and I pitched in and bought her a Kindle Touch two Christmases ago. She was so thrilled that she can read again. Since then she’s developed arthritis in her hands so I bought her a Kindle pillow so she can prop the device on her lap and read hands free. :)

  8. Anonymous says

    libraries have not been able to keep up with the demand for ebooks…they are lacking alot of financial help in this area and can be very frustrating. waiting in line for 24+ WRONG!!!

  9. Carla says

    Thank you! Thank you for the detailed info and links! For some strange reason I never thought to check my local library to borrow books, but with your info I can’t wait to get started reading on my Kindle.

  10. SaraZK says

    Jillee you are so freaking awesome. Thank you so much for sharing! As soon as I saw this, even though it’s after midnight, I had to check this out. My library does participate and I’m beyond giddy about it. Off I go to check out some ebooks!!! :o)

  11. SaraZK says

    Had to update… I have a Kindle Fire and borrowing a book from my library was as easy as buying one from Amazon/checking one out from the actual library. This could get dangerous. Not like I don’t already have 100′s of free books yet to be read. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my kindle!! Thanks again for posting this fantastic information!

  12. Georgie says

    In order to go back to a page in your kindle press menue then Go to
    and at the bottom of the page you can select location- begginning
    table of content or cover. I have a older kindle and I love that I can
    listen to a book. My favorite web page is one hundred free
    I have gotten on a email list and they email me new books every day
    and you can go back to the original site for the one hundred books
    every day. I have gotten five pages of gulten free cookbooks from
    this site. I have also used the by collections feature, as that way my
    cookbooks are all grouped together. Love your your site! Georgie

  13. Emanuel Breiner says

    Listening to audio books is practical and it meets the busy lifestyle of contemporary people. You can tune in to your favorite books anytime anywhere, while you are walking, sh… The popularity of iPod and MP3 players has raised the marketplace of audiobooks in recent years. Some book publishers also believed that audio books could outsell paperback books or e-books one day. Indeed, this pattern is clear if you think about some great benefits of audio books over paperback books. ;

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  14. Lynwood Hardwick says

    Kindle can download not just books, but also journals, newspapers, magazines and blogs. Once books are downloaded in the Kindle, the user can read as he pleases, continuously or intermittently, without having to recharge the device often. The battery lasts for about two weeks when the wireless mode is turned off, and for about five days when this feature is on. Even with continuous reading, the Kindle does not heat up as other devices tend to, thus never distracting the reader in any way.”-.

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  15. Renee says

    I’ve been downloading library ebooks for years–way back when Kindles and smart phones didn’t exist, but ebooks were downloadable to PDAs (though the selection wasn’t great). Anyway, the point of my post: Here in California, almost all libraries will issue library cards to anyone who lives in the state. They do require that you physically go to the library; it can’t be done online. Before I travel, I alway go online to check out the libraries in the area, and whether or not they have Overdrive. I currently have approximately a dozen library cards–a great selection of books!

    Two of my libraries also offer free magazine downloads through Zinio–great selection including Consumer Report, Good Housekeeping, Rachel Ray, Popular Mechanics, Newsweek, Family Circle, the list goes on and on. Those same two libraries also offer free mp3s through Freegal. Selection is limited to Sony labels, but still some good stuff… Adele, Dylan, Train, Usher, Carrie Underwood…

    I LOVE my libraries!


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