Free Books Through Amazon's Kindle Owners' Lending Library

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The Amazon Kindle Owners Lending Library

The Kindle Owners' Lending Library allows Amazon Prime members to borrow an e-book per month for free. Image © Amazon

Say what you will about the ills of capitalism. But when it comes to free-market enterprise, competition truly is a beautiful thing.

After Barnes & Noble stepped up its game in the e-reader and tablet wars, Amazon upped the ante against its rival via its Kindle Owners’ Lending Library service. The move would prove to be just one of many aggressive actions by Amazon, which also went on to greatly expand its Kindle lineup to include not just e-readers but tablets such as the Kindle Fire line as well.

The service allows Kindle owners to borrow one book at a time for free with a catch: they must be Amazon Prime members as well. For the uninitiated, Amazon Prime is a program provided by the online retailer for $79 a year. Perks that come with the program include free two-day shipping on Amazon orders and unlimited instant streaming of nearly 13,000 movies and TV shows.

Now Prime membership comes with another perk: a free e-book to borrow each month. The service also does not have any due dates so you can borrow the books for as long as you like. Amazon touts that more than 5,000 titles are available for lending through the service, including more than 100 New York Times bestsellers. Titles touted by Amazon as part of the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library include “Water for Elephants,” “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game,” and “Fast Food Nation.” Other titles available through the service include award-winning novel “The Finkler Question, motivational books like “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” biographies and memoirs such as “Kitchen Confidential,” and Pulitzer Prize-winning works like “Guns, Germs, and Steel.”

The service is available through the Kindle store on all Kindle devices, including the Kindle 4, Kindle Touch, Kindle Keyboard, Kindle Fire and older Kindle e-readers. Book borrowing is pretty much the same on all devices, with just some minor differences between e-readers and tablets. For step-by-step instructions on how to borrow a book through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library depending on the type of device that you have, read on to the next page.

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Borrowing Free Book for Kindle Readers Through Kindle Owners' Lending Library

How to borrow a free e-book for your Kindle E Ink reader through the Kindle Owners' Lending Library. Image © Amazon

FOR E-INK KINDLE DEVICES

  • Go to the Kindle store: Boot up the Kindle store and you will see a list of various categories such as Books, Newspapers, Magazines, Audible Audiobooks, Kindle Singles, and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Obviously, you’ll want to pick the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library option.
  • Browse eligible books: After picking the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, you’ll be able to browse a list of books to borrow. You’ll know that a book is eligible for borrowing because it will have a “Prime” badge identifying it.
  • Click on the ‘Borrow’ tab: Once you pick a book, you will now see a “Buy” tab and a “Borrow for Free” tab. I don’t know about you but it’s obvious to me what button you’ll want to press to borrow a book for free (at least I hope it is). Voila, you can now start reading your borrowed book.

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Borrowing a Free Book on Kindle Fire Through the Kindle Owners' Lending Library

How to borrow a free e-book on your Kindle Fire tablet through the Kindle Owners' Lending Library. Image © Amazon

FOR KINDLE TABLETS

  • Go to the Kindle Fire store: Boot up the Kindle store on your Kindle Fire tablet and click on “See all categories...” This will bring up a list of various categories such as Books, Kindle Singles, Kindle Newsstand, New & Noteworthy, Editor’s Picks, Kindle Books Exclusives, Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and NY Times Bestsellers. Once again, you’ll obviously want to pick the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library option.
  • Browse eligible books: After picking the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, you’ll be able to browse a list of books to borrow. Like with E Ink Kindle readers, you’ll know that a book is eligible for borrowing because it will have a “Prime” badge identifying it.
  • Click on the ‘Borrow’ tab: Once you pick a book, you will see a “Buy for $...” tab and a “Borrow for Free” tab. No, this isn’t a trick question so just pick the “Borrow for Free” tab, ‘kay? You can now start reading your borrowed book on your Kindle Fire tablet.