I’ve been meaning to finish and publish this post for a while now, but it’s been a hectic couple of weeks at the Gallagher household between chasing kids from activity to activity, Christmas, etc. Yes, the best laid plans go somewhere else. This post focuses on being able to borrow books from Amazon and read it on your Kindle, all at no direct cost to you.
Notice I typed in “direct cost,” which is a key phrase: Amazon will allow you to borrow one book per month for free and allow you to read it on your Kindle, but you have to be a Prime member. There are three ways you can be a Prime Member:
- Pay $79 to Amazon for a year’s membership.
- Enroll in the one month free trial of Amazon Prime.
- Order a Kindle Fire, and you receive a month of Amazon Prime for free
What is Amazon’s Prime Membership? To summarize the benefits of joining (of course, this is not an all-encompassing list):
- You receive free two-day shipping; or just $3.99 for next day shipping, on all purchases fulfilled by Amazon. That includes more than just books and CD’s, but the really heavy items like power tools. I bought some woodworking equipment at 3:30 p.m. from Amazon two years ago that weighed over 100 pounds, and I paid $3.99 for it to be here before noon the next day. Not only did Amazon have the lower price, but the next lower priced dealer wanted $150 to ship it in 7-10 business days, so it more than paid for itself in one purchase.
- You are able to watch over 25,000 movies and TV series for free via Amazon’s streaming video product.
- You can browse through over 250,000 books in the Kindle format, and borrow one per month. Sure, there are a lot of titles you haven’t heard of but there are also a lot of blockbuster titles like the Harry Potter series, also.
I am sure there are other benefits, but the three above are what I use it for – as a guy, I hate to go to the mall or other stores, and I seem to purchase nearly everything off of Amazon because of the low price and free two day shipping with my Prime membership; as an accountant in “real” life, I rationalize it a lot like a Sam’s Club membership.
If you would like to get a free one month trial subscription to Prime (see, you knew I would tell you about something free vs. spending $79) or learn more about the Prime membership option, here’s a quick way to get to the correct page:
- Go to the Amazon Prime page by clicking here or typing in http://smarturl.it/primeinto your computer’s web browser.
- On the right-hand side of the page, click on the “Start Your One-Month Free Trial” link.
Try it for free, and if it works out, great, if not – cancel it before they charge you.
Anyway, I appear to be getting off-topic again….
As I was saying earlier, you can borrow one book per month from Amazon…before you get too excited, you can’t borrow every book they have in the Kindle inventory: as I type this, there are exactly 472,416 titles available in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Seeing as how there are 2,281,415 book titles in the Amazon Kindle store right now, that’s not a bad percentage of the population.
So, how do you peruse the titles available for lending? While I am sure there are other ways to do it, here is how you do it on an e-Ink Kindle (Kindle, Kindle DX, Kindle Keyboard, Paperwhite, etc.):
- Press the “Home” button on your Kindle.
- Press the “Menu” key.
- Select the “Shop in Kindle Store” option.
- Underneath the “Books” section, scroll over to the right and select “See all…”
- Scroll down to the last option and select “Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.”
On a Kindle Fire, here is how you do it:
- Go to the Books tab.
- Click the Store icon.
- On the right-hand side of the screen, under “Featured Lists” tap the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library option.
You will now see a list of the books available for borrowing for free from Amazon. You can also change the sort option to view by the various subcategories (mine initially showed up by the bestselling) if there is a particular genre you want to peruse.
One thing I don’t like about doing it this way is you can’t type in the name of a particular book in the lending library and have it show up – on a few test searches I did for various authors, the results displayed were for purchase only. In other words, you’re going to be doing a lot of searching and hitting the next page button which is a little bit of a pain in the neck.
Anyway, back to how I borrowed a book from Amazon…
At the listing of the books by bestselling, I just kept hitting the next page button until I saw something I liked. The next screen is what I would call the regular information page about a book on my Kindle but in addition to the “Buy” button, right below that was a “Borrow for Free” button. I selected the “Borrow for Free” button, and the next screen that popped up looked familiar:
Thank you for borrowing this title. We are sending your item and it will automatically appear in your Home screen when the download is complete.
It took less than 10 seconds for the book I selected to appear on my Kindle, and I just saved $4.99.
On my Kindle DX, I pressed the Home button and found the book, then selected it with the 5-way controller, where my Kindle then started me at the book’s preface. One thing to note – there is no distinction or “warning” sign that this is a loaned book, it all looked the same to me.
So, there’s your short tutorial on borrowing a book from Amazon: hope that helps!