How to Get Free E-Books & Audiobooks from Your Library

Did you know you can get e-books and audiobooks for free from your library using the Libby app (depending on which library you use)? It’s easy to use and awesome for saving money as a reader! This is my favorite way to download digital books from my library. Read on for how it works!

kindle e-reader sitting on a marble hexagonal side table with a small succulent plant beside it

How to Get E-Books and Audiobooks from Your Library

Most libraries (in the United States, at least) will offer digital copies of books – such as e-books and audiobooks – in addition to print copies.

This is huge for readers who like to read on a Kindle/e-reader, or for readers who love audiobooks (which are great for saving time/multi-tasking!).

Fortunately, it’s not complicated to place a hold and download these, especially if your library partners with the Libby app (like mine does). And you don’t have to go anywhere – all you need is your phone!

Here’s how it works.

For more helpful reading tips, check out my list of the best book apps for readers! You can also find awesome deals on print books at local library book sales.

Step 1: Put a hold on the e-book or audiobook you want to read.

Download your local library’s app on your phone or tablet. (Often, multiple libraries will be included in a regional library system, and they’ll all use the same app.)

Next, in the library’s app, search for the book you want to put on hold. Click or tap on the book, then select the specific format you want (e-book or audiobook) and place a hold.

library app screenshot of ebooks and audiobooks available for placing a hold

For audiobooks, you’ll only be able to place ‘downloadable audiobooks’ on hold, not hard-copy CD audiobooks.

(Keep in mind, not all books will have every format available, depending on what your library offers.)

Step 2: Connect your library account to the Libby app.

Next, download the Libby app. Connect your library using the hamburger menu button in the bottom center of the screen (see screenshot below). Then, add your library card details.

Libby menu bar screenshot for adding library details

Once your e-book or audiobook is available, navigate to it in your library’s app and send it to Libby. In my library app, there’s a button that says ‘Access this item’. (Some apps may automatically send your digital books to Libby.)

In the Libby app, you can see your hold details, including when your hold is due.

For e-books, you can read them directly in the Libby app, or use the ‘Read With Kindle’ button to send the file to your Kindle (via your Amazon account).

For audiobooks, you can listen directly via the Libby app. You can even download the file to your phone, so you can listen even when you aren’t connected to WiFi (without using your cell phone data!).

Libby app screenshot of the audiobook download button

And that’s it – you’re ready to read/listen! I hope you found this walkthrough helpful. Happy reading! 🙂

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