Friday, January 6, 2012

Downloading library books to your Kindle.

Did you get a Kindle for Christmas?  It seems like everybody did!  It makes my 2nd generation Kindle look pretty sad, what with all these sleek new Kindles.  There is also one major disadvantage to having a 2nd generation Kindle - no wireless, therefore borrowing books is a bigger pain than it will be for you, lucky new Kindle owner!

Nonetheless, both you and I are finally able to achieve a feat that has been the hope and dream of every bookworm since they were a small child.  We can get library books in our pajamas, at unreasonable hours, without leaving our house.  Yes, you say, I know, but how do I actually do it?  I have heard tell of this mythical library lending, but so far have just figured out how to download free classic books that I didn't want to read in high school and certainly don't want to read now.

To start getting books for free from your local public library, you may need to go to the library and get a library card.  If you have a currently working library card and PIN number, you are good to go!  Otherwise, head to the library, bring some (official looking) mail if your driver's license doesn't have your current address, and sign yourself up.  Then you head to the OverDrive website or the local library website.  Note: In Baltimore, you do not google, "Baltimore City Public Library."  You have to google, "Enoch Pratt Public Library" or you can head to the Maryland Overdrive site directly.  Once you are at the site, log in using your library card number and pin.

You can search for books in the search form (in MD it's on the left.)  The first thing you will notice and find frustrating is that the book you want probably isn't available.  It isn't a perfect system, but it is free.  There are two different links you can click to "save" the title.  There is "my wishlist" or "my holds".  If you just want to keep the book in mind, you add it to your wishlist.  If you actually want the book, you click "my holds".  Then it asks you for an email, and it will email you when it becomes available.  You can also go to "my account" and then "my holds" and it'll show you where you sit on the wait list.

Once the book is available, you will get an email, and then go to the Overdrive website within the specified time and put the book in your cart and checkout.  Once you checkout, you go to the Amazon page where you get to download the book, and if you are on wireless, you send it to your Kindle!  If you have an old fashioned Kindle like mine, you hook up a cord, download it to your computer, and then transfer it manually.

You have your book for two weeks, so happy reading!  If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can also borrow books from the Prime Lending Library, but there is a detailed diagram with pictures here, so I'm not going to re-invent the wheel.


  1. I would love to get a kindle because I read so much but with wedding planning I have no time, I can't wait until I can start reading again! Thanks for these tips, I will pass them on to my Kindle owning friends and family! :)

  2. And here's how to send any other doc to your Kindle from Windows: