Turns out your local library not only loans actual books, but also virtual eBooks! For free! It is not the most straight forward process, so I thought I would save you the trouble of having to figure it out.
With our driver licenses matching our location for once, we finally had a chance to pick up some library cards. I can’t believe I have been paying for my Kindle books this whole time! At over $20 every month this was really cutting into our budget (see our monthly expenses here).
I love my Kindle Paperwhite because I can read in bed with the lights off and now I can get free Kindle books.
How to borrow free Kindle books from your local library
- Pick up at least one library card. We have cards from several libraries because some books will not be available from all libraries. There might also be a shorter wait at one library over another.
- Sign up for an Amazon account (you should already have one if you own a Kindle).
- Sign up for an Overdrive account. If you only have one library you can just go straight to their website and skip to step 7.
- Add your libraries to your Overdrive account by clicking ‘Find a Library’ and saving your library to your account.
- On the Overdrive website select a book you would like to read and click on it (you can also do this directly on your library’s website if you only have one library account)
- The book detail page shows you where the book is available. Click on ‘View’. Also check your ‘Other saved libraries’ if you have any because the wait might be shorter.
- You will be taken to your library and once you are logged in you can click on ‘Borrow’ or ‘Place a Hold’. Note: I’ve noticed that some libraries don’t go directly to your book selection so you might have to search for your title again. You can also skip Overdrive and just search your library directly if you only use one library.
- Your book should now be in your ‘Bookshelf’ or ‘Holds’ section in your virtual library. You might have to click on ‘Account’ to go there. It can take a very long time to get a book that has a lot of holds on it. Put as many as possible into your Holds so you don’t run out of books. One of my libraries allows for 30 holds another only 20. Of course that is a total of 50 holds!
- If you are not waiting for a hold to clear you are ready to borrow. In your virtual library Bookshelf, next to the book you have borrowed, you should see ‘Download’. Click and check ‘Kindle Book’ then select ‘Confirm and Get Kindle Book’.
- You should automatically have been taken to the Amazon website.
- Click on ‘Get library book’. We have several Kindles and have to choose which Kindle to deliver to – you might not have to.
- Open your Kindle and make sure WiFi is enabled to receive the free book!
TIP: If you turn on Airplane mode your books will stay on your Kindle until you reconnect to the internet!! I like to check out 20 or so books at a time, read what I like and return the books in my own time.
How to return Kindle library eBooks
Technically, the books return themselves but if you want to speed up the process here is how:
- Go to Amazon
- Under ‘Your Account’ click on ‘Manage your Content and Devices’
- Find the book you want to return and click on the … to the left of the title.
- Select ‘Return this Book’
- While you are here note how much $$ you are saving!
HOOPLA vs OVERDRIVE
Hoopla is similar to OverDrive, but here are the major differences. I don’t know if it just my library but Hoopla does not seem to loan eBooks any longer. For my Kindle, I will stick to Overdrive since I like to check out a lot of books at once, for times I don’t have any access to wifi. We use Hoopla for movies instead of paying for Netflix or Hulu.
What have we been up to?
We have been in beautiful Washington for about a month now. September we spent in Panama because we thought we had found a great boat and we were ready to buy. Unfortunately, photos (and boat owners) don’t tell the whole story and we just ended up with a great vacation.
When we returned from Panama we drove out to Denver to visit with Mike’s parents for the month of October and currently we are just trying to decide what’s next. Do we really want another full-time boat? Or a farm with some chickens? Maybe an RV? Or some backpacks? We have no idea! As stressful as a not knowing what’s next can be, I try to remind myself that this is the best part because we can just dream about all the possibilities.