Posted April 8, 2013 by in New Technology

Download Kindle Books Free with Overdrive

Free Ebooks?

Did you know hundreds of libraries all over the world pay for electronic books that are free to the public? I am not just referring to the books that have expired copyrights or are in the public domain. You can get bestsellers, travel guides, cookbooks, and more thanks to your well-spent tax dollars. Dig out that old library card or call up your local branch and find out how you can get a new one. Many libraries will simply read your card number to you over the phone if you have signed up for one in the past. Some public libraries have an employee whose sole job is to facilitate or aid with the use of digital resources. I know this because I am such an employee at the public library where I work! If you are having trouble, it never hurts to ask for assistance.


Public libraries offer ebooks in many formats and through many service providers, but the most commonly used provider is called Overdrive. They make a list of ebooks available to the public library and the librarians choose which books to purchase for their electronic collection, which they then make available to their community. Since there are so many different ebook formats, providers, ebook devices, and software apps, this article will focus on how to download the Kindle books free for use with your Kindle device or app. If this sounds too good to be true, prepare to be amazed. Downloading ebooks from Overdrive is probably easier than you think


I've Got Your Number Sophie Kinsella

I’ve Got Your Number Sophie Kinsella

  1. Start at http://www.overdrive.com and enter your zip code. This will bring up libraries in your area that offer ebooks through Overdrive.
  2. Click on the libraries with which you have a library card.
  3. A new page should open that allows you to browse or search for an ebook that interests you.
  4. For Kindle devices or the Kindle app, choice a title that has “Kindle book” listed in “Available formats.”
  5. Click the big blue “Borrow” button on the book you want.
  6. If the book is popular or in short supply, the blue button will say “Place a Hold” instead. This means you have to wait for it to become available and will be emailed when it is ready for borrowing.
  7. Enter your library card number. You may have to also enter a pin number. If you need help with this, call your library.
  8. Click download and select “Kindle book,” then “Confirm and Download.”
  9. Once the page loads with your Amazon.com account, choose the device where you want your ebook delivered, and click “Get Library Book.”

Tips and Reminders

  • Your ebook will expire in an amount of time that is decided by your library. This can be anywhere between 7 days or several weeks.
  • You have a limited number of times that you may download an ebook that you have checked out.
  • The amount of ebooks you can take out at one time may be limited by your library.
  • There are no charges or overdue fees associated with ebooks since they simple expire when the loan is over.

Finding the Ebook Title You Want

Gone Girl

Gone Girl

Overdrive offers a unique worldwide search option to help you find that title that you want. Even though each library uses Overdrive to offer ebooks, every library will offer a different selection. If you go to http://search.overdrive.com/, you can find which libraries have the specific book that you want. Many public libraries require only that you live in the same state to apply for a free library card, making it easy to get ebooks from the surrounding community.

How Can This Be Free?

The way Overdrive lends ebooks is completely legal and free. Overdrive takes the proper precautions to ensure that no copyrights are being infringed upon, which means that you can indeed download ebooks for free. If a library is offering ebooks through their website, it is because they have purchased the rights to the titles they are offering there. Both state and local taxes fund libraries and library staff, meaning that if you are a legal citizen of the country, you are paying for this service already with your tax dollars.

Cool Stuff to Do with Your Kindle App

  •  Highlight passages that you think are important.
  • Make notes about a particular passage.
  • Change the font size, background color, or text color.
  • Look any word up in the dictionary immediately; just hold your finger down on the word you want to define.

Once you are finished reading the ebook you are borrowing, you might want to hold on to your notes or highlighted passages. If you ever decide to purchase the book through Amazon, those notes and passages you highlighted are saved.

What was the last ebook you read? Did you get it from the library?

Download Kindle Books Free with Overdrive 5.00/5 (100.00%) 1 vote

Lauren V. Bryant

Having studied library and information sciences in a graduate program at San Jose State University, Lauren is a professional librarian who has worked in middle school, high school, and public libraries with teen patron groups. Favorite genres include fantasy, historical fiction, cyberpunk, and stories with strong female characters. Check out Lauren's website, LaurentheLibrarian.com for book reviews, giveaways, and library stuff. Check out all my articles.