How to Borrow Kindle eBooks from the Library


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Up until this week, library users who checked out ebooks did not have the option of reading those books on any of Amazon’s Kindle devices or apps. That’s all changed, thanks to a nationwide roll-out by Amazon to over 11,000 libraries in the US. Unlike checking out a book with Adobe Digital Editions, the process is dead simple, and in this video I’ll be showing you how.

First off, you’ll need a card from a participating library. The library itself doesn’t actually serve up books, but rather contracts out with a company called Overdrive, who may have a sub-site on your library’s website.

Once you enter the Overdrive site, you’ll have to login, probably with your card number or a special PIN. This will vary based on what your library requires.

When you go to search for a book, you’ll want to make sure that the book is a Kindle book. Adobe ePub and PDF books require a completely different setup, and are not viewable on Kindle devices or apps.

You also might have noticed that you can add some books to your cart immediately, but for some books, you have to get on a waiting list. Libraries can’t just loan out as many copies as they want, they’ve got to play by the publisher’s rules and purchase licenses for each copy. Hence, the limited supply.

Once you’ve found a book you want to check out, simply add it to your cart and set the length of time you want to check it out for. Generally, you’ll only have the option of checking it out for 7 or 14 days. Once you confirm the check out, you’ll be re-directed to Amazon’s website to complete the transaction.

If you don’t already have an Amazon account, you’ll need to sign up for one before you can begin reading. Sign in, and select the device that you want the book to be sent to. You’ve got plenty of options that include Amazon’s Kindle devices, apps for nearly every mobile platform, or on the computer through the Kindle Cloud Reader. You’ll need to setup one of these apps or devices and link them with your Amazon account before you can send the book to it. Once you confirm the selection, the book will appear the next time you sync with your account.

When you do sync, the book will appear in the Archived Items folder, click the book to download it and add it to your main library.

Music & Photo Credits

Background music featured in this video is “The Boss” by Multifaros and is used under CC-BY license from Free Music Archive.

Photos by Flickr users cybrgrl & kodomut (1, 2) are used under CC-BY license.

The photo by Flickr user Joshua Kaufman is used under CC-BY-SA license.

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