Kindle library ebooks are here! Amazon and OverDrive, the biggest supplier of digital books for libraries in the US, have joined forces to make Kindle ebooks available for digital checkout over the air from where ever you are. In this first wave, 11,000 libraries have jumped on board. No one seems to have published a list of WHICH libraries, however.
I’ve been using the OverDrive Media Console Android app to read ePub and PDF formatted liberary ebooks for a while now, but the inclusion of Kindle library books is an amazing leap forward in the usability of library ebook reading. You can annotate, sync your bookmarks and current page across devices, and lots of other cool tricks that the OverDrive app doesn’t allow.
So here are the 6 steps to reading Kindle library ebooks on your android:
- Step 1: Make sure your library card is current. If you’ve never used your card online, go find your card and use the number on it to log in and set up an online account. If you don’t have one, go get one. They’re free in 48 states, and if you live inside city limits in most cities in the remaining 2 states (Illinois & New Jersey). It’s a taxation thing.
- Step 2: Download the Kindle Reader for Android.
- Step 3: Log on to the OverDrive digital media or downloadable media section of your library’s site and find a book you want to read.
- Step 4: Choose the Kindle format, “add to cart” if you can or “place a hold”. Click here for a visual of the library page for Murakami’s “Kafka on the Shore” for an example of the different format options. If you can add the Kindle ebook you want to check out to your cart, go through the checkout process. Note that library check out periods vary from 7 to 21 days depending on the library. Keep an eye out for a check out duration option in the checkout flow — some libraries have them and some don’t.
- Step 5: Once the Kindle ebook has been checked out, just click the “Get for Kindle” button and you’re instantly sent to Amazon’s page for that Kindle book to complete the download. Click here for a visual of my account’s checked out books to see what I mean. (No making fun of my reading selections!) The ebook can be sent to any of your registered devices — Android phone, tablet, iPad, PC, actual Kindle reader (gasp), etc.
- Step 6: Open the Kindle reader app on your device and sync. You’ll find the library ebook in your “Archive” just like regular Kindle ebook purchases. Just click on it in the archive to download it to your device and start reading!
If the books you want aren’t available in Kindle format, I recommend the ePub format read via the OverDrive Media Console. The PDF versions aren’t as flexible and make for wonky scaling and scrolling issues. Or you could check out an actual paper version of the book, but who wants to do that?!