How A Library Card Can Become Your Kindle's Best Friend

It's no secret that public libraries have had their roles severely supplanted by the internet in the modern age. You don't really need to go to a place full of physical books for work or leisure when you can get all the info and entertainment you could ever want at home. But if you do enjoy reading, then you shouldn't write your local library off altogether. Even if you prefer to do your reading on a Kindle rather than a physical book, it may still be to your benefit to get a library card set up.

Thanks to the third-party service OverDrive (also known as Libby, after its app of the same name), you can borrow digital copies of books from your local library and enjoy them from the comfort of your Kindle reader or tablet. All you need is a registered library card, and an entire galaxy of literary wonders will open to you, with no concerns for late fees!

Borrow books with OverDrive

OverDrive is a digital repository of fiction and nonfiction books that maintains partnerships with libraries around the United States. If you've got a card with a local library, and said library has a partnership with OverDrive, you can use their website to download books from that library's collection to your Kindle.

  1. Find your local library on the OverDrive website.

  2. On your library's page, click Kindle Books in the top bar.

  3. Select a book you want to borrow and sign in with your library card information.

  4. Choose a length of time you want to borrow the book.

  5. Click the Borrow button.

  6. On the borrow confirmation page, click "Read now with Kindle."

  7. You'll be redirected to an Amazon page for the book.

  8. Click the "Get Library Book" button. If you aren't already, you'll need to sign into your Amazon account.

The book will be registered to your Amazon account, after which it can be freely downloaded and read on any Kindle device associated with your account until your borrowing period ends.

Rules of the library

While borrowing digital books from your local library via OverDrive is very convenient, that doesn't mean there aren't any rules. Just like with borrowing physical books, there are some restrictions and limitations you need to be conscious of.

First and foremost, these books are just loans. When taking out a book with OverDrive, you need to select a period of time to take the book out. During that time, you can read the book on your Kindle as much as you want, but as soon as that lending period ends, the book will become inaccessible, and you'll need to borrow it again.

Additionally, a library can lend out only so many copies of a book. If they've reached their limit on loans, you won't be able to borrow the book until another user's lending period runs out. You can place a hold on a book, but popular titles can take weeks or even months to be available. Most libraries also limit the number of books you can have out at one time.

Finally, some books, particularly picture books and graphic novels, may not be compatible with all Kindle devices. Check the Formats section of the book's details page when borrowing -– if there are any Kindle device restrictions, they'll be listed there.