If you have an Amazon Kindle device but don’t like spending money on books, getting free books from library on your Kindle can save you a lot of money.
Most of us love going to the library.
In fact, according to the Institute of Museum and Library Services, there were almost 1.4 billion (yes, billion!) library visits in 2015 with an average of over four visits per person!
And according to a recent Gallup poll, more people went to the library than went to the movies in 2019! And don’t forget, both Avengers: Endgame and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker came out last year!
And what’s not to love about your public library?
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You have free access to basically any book you can think of!
As well as access to magazines, newspapers, computers, free classes, and more!
With the COVID-19 pandemic and with many areas under stay at home orders, now would be a great time to pick up a library book.
Unfortunately, most libraries are likely closed in order to prevent any further spread of the Corona Virus.
And even without this pandemic, maybe you like reading on Kindle so you don’t necessarily want to go to the library.
What if there was a way to download library books to an eReader like Amazon Kindle or mobile device?
Well, there is. In fact, there are many ways.
How to Free Kindle Books from Public Libraries
Here are some of the best ways to legally download free books from your library to your Kindle, mobile device, tablet, or computer for free!
1. OverDrive App
OverDrive (review) bills itself as “the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools worldwide.”
It claims to have the largest catalog of eBooks, audiobooks, and other media through a network of 45,000 libraries in 78 countries.
It really is one of the easiest ways to download free books from your local library.
After you download the app, follow the directions to use your library card to sign in.
Once you’ve selected your local library and signed in, you can start searching for titles to choose from.
You can begin reading them immediately or download to use later while you’re offline.
If you’re browsing using your home computer, you can transfer audiobooks to a compatible eReader or MP3 player.
2. Libby App
OverDrive has another app it has developed called Libby.
There are several differences between the OverDrive and Libby apps.
One is Libby lets you sign into multiple libraries or use multiple library cards within the app, while OverDrive limits you to one.
The Libby app’s on-boarding is simpler, and you can add loans and holds from different libraries.
You can also start reading a title without having to choose a file format and more.
In addition to all of this, you can set browsing and list preferences to narrow down the content to subjects you’re interested in and leave out the rest.
You can also download free audiobooks from library.
If you’re interested, a more detailed list of the differences between OverDrive and Libby can be found here.
3. Sora App
OverDrive also makes an app designed for school libraries called Sora.
You can check out books through Sora just like you can with overdrive, but Sora also has some features specifically designed for students.
They include sections for assigned books for a class, the ability to take notes or highlight sections then export them to an external source, see stats for how much you’ve read, and more.
But what if you’re not looking for the latest best seller or something to read to take your mind off of things?
Maybe you’re an attorney or similar professional looking to stay on top of your profession or catch up on the latest information in your field.
Don’t worry, there’s an app for that!
Just download the LexisNexis app.
You can download the latest publications for legal research, risk analysis, journal articles, and more.
Since LexisNexis is designed for a specific audience, the general public may not be able to use it for accessing materials.
You probably will need an existing account through your job or school.
Hoopla is a digital media service offered by many public libraries that allows you to borrow eBooks, movies, music, audiobooks, TV shows, comics, and more!
And you can access all of this from your computer, Kindle, mobile device, tablet, or TV.
And you can download for immediate viewing/reading or save for later.
To get started, you create an account by registering your email address and choosing the library closest to you.
Then you enter your library card information and PIN.
After that, you’ll be able to electronically check out just about anything your library has to offer.
And without having to worry about if that book you wanted is already checked out!
And once the due date comes around, the item is removed from your device, so you don’t have to worry about returning anything or incurring any late fees.
SimplyE is an app that is part of an open-reading platform Library Simplified.
It is a program developed by several libraries and educational institutions nationwide, with the New York Public Library leading the way.
After downloading the app, log in with your library card and PIN.
To browse, tap “Catalog” at the bottom of the screen and swipe to look for popular titles.
You can also narrow your search by using the search icon, or sort by author or collection.
When you find the title you’re looking for, tap on it to download and then tap the “Read” button.
And when the lending period is up, the title is automatically returned.
But be aware the app does not work with Android devices running on the Android 5.0 operating system or older.
And it does not work with the Kindle Fire or Kindle Paperwhite eReaders.
What if you’re more interested in magazines rather than books?
There’s an app for that as well.
Flipster is an app that is dedicated to giving you free access to many digital magazines through your local library.
And it’s not just titles like People and Cosmopolitan that you’ll find.
Flipster also caters to academic libraries as well as corporate and government publications.
All you have to do is locate your local library, search for the title you’re looking for, and start reading.
8. BiblioBoard Library
BiblioBoard is an app that is a little different than the one’s you’ve read about so far.
It doesn’t focus on the book you would normally find at the library.
Instead, it focuses on letting readers find local content and allow local and independent authors to get their works to a larger audience.
This can include original books and film, local music, local yearbooks, oral history projects, old town photographs, and more.
Another added benefit is there are no holds or checkouts, everything is always available.
You also have the ability to share with your friends what your favorite titles are.
To get started, search to see if your library is on the list.
If it’s not, you have the option of using “BiblioBoard Open Access” to browse titles available to everyone.
RBdigital was created by Recorded Books, a long-time maker of audiobooks.
However, this app offers more than just audiobooks.
Like most of the other apps listed here, you have to create an account using your library card and PIN from your local library.
And depending on your local library, you may have access to magazines, comics, newspapers, eBooks, and television shows.
In all, RBDigital has access to roughly 5000 libraries, including some of the biggest in the country.
And if you’re looking to learn a new skill while you’re waiting out a mandatory stay at home order, you’re in luck!
They offer access to The Great Courses, language learning programs, test prep, and more.
And if you’re looking to get in better shape while waiting out the COVID-19 situation, they also provide unlimited access to live and on-demand fitness classes.
CloudLibrary is another app that allows you to digitally check out books to your mobile device, computer, or eReader.
To get started either download the app or go to their homepage and find your local library.
From there, enter your library card information and PIN, agree to the terms, and log in.
After that you able to browse and borrow audiobooks and eBooks from your local library.
The app also allows you to sync the books across different devices, create custom lists of genres to search, save titles for future browsing, and advanced filters to sort by date or author.
11. Check your local library’s website for electronic access
There are other ways your local library may be offering free access to books and other services.
One example is the Albertville City Library in Albertville, Alabama.
It is offering free access to several websites offering books and tutoring services.
All of these sites can be accessed by using your home computer, tablet, mobile device, or Kindle.
Their main page (see the link above) has username and password information for each of the sites just listed.
Take a quick peek and see if you see anything you like.
And also take a look at your local public library’s website to see if they have anything similar.
12. Or Borrow Books From Amazon
But what if you don’t have a library card but still want to borrow an eBook for your Kindle?
Are you an Amazon Prime member?
If so, you’re in luck!
Amazon Prime has a program called Kindle Lending Library.
It’s a way for one person to lend an eBook to one of their friends.
Just go to the Kindle store, select a title, select the Actions button, then select “Loan This Title.”
Enter the person’s email, then click “Send.”
The person will receive a notification that they’ve received the loaned book, and they have seven days to claim it.
Now Get To Reading!
Unfortunately, at the time this article is being written, many of us are stuck at home under strict “Stay At Home” restrictions due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
One silver lining is we now have plenty of time to read that book (or books) we’ve always wanted to read.
Hopefully, this list has given you all the options you need to find and download free library books on your Kindle, mobile device, or home computer. Happy reading!