How To Borrow Free Library Books On Your Kindle, iPad or Other Device

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how to borrow library books on Kindle

I love a trip to the public library and try to go a few times a month but I’ve also started borrowing library books from home and reading them on my iPad with the Amazon Kindle app. It’s totally free and very easy, so I thought I’d let you know about it.

This is especially handy for anyone too busy to make it to the library because of your work or family schedule, and those of you up north who might be preparing for the big storm and want to stock up on some reading materials. It’s also great if you are travelling for work or vacation and want to borrow a book on the go! All you need is a tablet, Kindle, PC, iPad, Smartphone or any other device using the free Kindle Reading App.

Public Library Books for Kindle and Other Devices

11,000+ libraries in the United States offer Public Library Books for Kindle, which allows you to check out eBooks through the website of your local library, and have them sent directly to your Kindle device or reading apps where they will be available for a specified period of time like a regular library book. Public Library Books for Kindle provide the same features as Kindle books, including Whispersync, which synchronizes notes, highlights, last page read, page numbers and more across your account.

popular kindle library books

Getting Started Using Public Library Books for Kindle

The first thing you need is a library card or account number. I hope everyone already has a library card! In addition to being able to borrow every type of book from best seller to dog training manuals to  cookbook, the public library is also a great source of free materials including, music CD’s, movies on DVD, kid’s books, career resources and FREE internet access when you need it. OK, assuming you have a library card, here’s what you need to get started:

Visit the OverDrive website at or the website of your local library to confirm whether your branch is eligible and carries eBooks.

  1. To check out a library book to your Kindle or other device, visit the website of your local library and search for eBooks. Your library should have an area of their website devoted to eBooks and digital media.
  2. Select the title you want to check out, and login with your library card information and pin when prompted. Use a personal email address (not your Kindle address) to place a hold.
  3. After you have checked out the title, choose Get for Kindle to have it sent to your Kindle or ANY device that uses the free Kindle reading app. You’ll be redirected to’s Public Library Loan page for that title. If you’re not logged into Amazon, you’ll need to enter your login for your account.
  4. Choose the device or app from the Deliver to menu, and choose Get library book to send the book to your device or reading app.

I like to browse the bestseller section of my library’s website to see what Kindle books they have for lending and then add them to my hold list. Just like with paper books, the library must purchase “copies” of ebooks, so you may have to wait your turn to borrow the latest bestseller, but I’ve never waited more than a week or two, and there’s tons of great stuff to read while you wait!  Here’s what I’m reading now, and an example of what it looks like in your Kindle library when you’ve borrowed a book instead of purchased it:

kindle library book

For more info, help and answers to frequently asked questions about borrowing libary books for Kindle, visit Amazon here. Or, leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you get started!


  1. also saw if you have amazon prime you can borrow books from kindle store?  I just got an ipad mini a few weeks ago so this reading w/o paper is soo new to me

    • You have to actually have the Kindle and Amazon Prime to borrow the 1 free Kindle book per month directly from the Kindle Owners library. We have Amazon Prime and my hubby has the Kindle fire but I can’t borrow the free book per month…only he can. But there are always plenty of random free books on Amazon. What I like about the public library is all the bestsellers and really popular titles are free to borrow.

  2. I’m buying one this weekend and this is good to know.

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