Borrowing Kindle Books

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One of the (many!) great features of the Amazon Kindle is access to its vast library of free books.

Here’s an overview of the book lending process for Amazon Kindle customers in the United States:

Two Ways to Borrow

There are two ways to borrow books when using any of the Kindle e-readers. The first way is to ask a friend to lend a book from their collection. The second option, available only to Amazon Prime subscribers, is the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library.

Borrowing from a friend is available to anyone, whether a Kindle owner or Kindle app user. The Kindle Owner’s Lending Library is available across all Kindles, however, it is not available to users of Kindle apps.

Both are great options as a cost-saving method to check out books for free.

1. From/To a Friend

Lending a Book to a Friend:
The easier, but more limited option, is to ask a friend to lend one of his or her e-books from a personal library. I say limited because the only books available are those on the lender’s device and only those that are lending enabled. Despite the limitation, it is still a great option to get access to free ebooks.

To use this service, the borrower does not have to be a Kindle owner; he or she can use a free Kindle App on a compatible device like a PC or Mac, an iPhone or iPad or any of the Android and BlackBerry devices.

Some Caveats:

As I mentioned, not all books can be lent, only those that are lending enabled.

Also, once a book is lent out, that book is not available to the lender while the borrow has it on his or her device.

A book can be lent for a period of 14 days. At the end of that period of time, (or sooner if the borrow elects to return it before the due date) the book will go back to the original owner’s collection.

Here’s the Process:
To loan an e-book, just look for the product details of the book. If the book is “Lending; Enabled”, then that book can be lent by selecting the “Loan this Book” option next to the product image.

After the book is selected for lending, the lender fills out a short form (required) including the borrower’s name, personal e-mail address and an (optional) message.

Once the lender completes the form, the borrow will receive notification of the offer to lend. The offer will be valid for 7 days. If the loan isn’t accepted, the book will become available again to the Lender through the Archived Items section.

Borrowing from a Friend:

The first step for the borrower is to receive an e-mail notification of an offer to borrow/download the book to a Kindle device or free Kindle reading app.

To complete the process, the borrower simply opens the email and clicks on the “Get Your Loaned Book Now” button. Once clicked, the borrower is automatically directed to Amazon.com to accept the loan. After accepting the loan, the borrower has 14 days to read the book before it must be returned.

2. Borrowing from the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library:
Amazon Prime members can borrow one book a month for free from the Kindle Lending Library. Any book in the Amazon catalog marked with a Prime badge is eligible. And there are a ton!

Borrowers select “Borrow For Free” to borrow the book and start reading. The book may be kept for as long as the borrower likes, however, he or she can only borrow one book at a time from the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library.

Borrowing from a friend or using the Lending Library, free Kindle books are always a good thing.

Happy Reading!

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