How to Share Kindle Books

Learn how to borrow and loan the newest Kindle bestseller eBooks

Illustration of the 5 steps needed to share a Kindle book

Lifewire / Maritsa Patrinos

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Did you know there's another way to get Kindle books for free besides going through lists of the latest free Kindle books? Below, you'll learn how to share your Kindle books with your friends and family and find out how to borrow their Kindle books, all for free.

When sharing with friends, books can be borrowed for a maximum of 14 days. However, if you share your Kindle books with your family, they can have access to them for as long as they like.

Below are detailed instructions on how to loan a Kindle eBook to a friend or family member, as well as instructions on how they can then download the shared Kindle book to their device.

Be sure to read the "Lending Limitations" section below so you know what you can and can't do when loaning out your Kindle books.

How to Loan a Kindle Book to Anyone

There are two ways to lend a Kindle book to someone. You can choose either method depending on which is easiest to you, though we recommend following the first set of instructions below.

No matter which method you use, the recipient will have seven days to accept the book you've loaned to them. During this period of time, the book isn't available to you.

Use 'Manage Your Contact and Devices' to Loan a Kindle Book

This method takes you directly to your account page that lists all the Kindle books you've purchased, which makes it really easy to locate and share your books.

  1. Visit the Manage Your Content and Devices section of your Amazon account.

  2. Select the Actions button next to the book you want to loan, and then choose the link called Loan this title. This will take you to a new page.

    The Bad Break book loan this title option on Amazon

    If this option isn't available, then the book isn't eligible for loaning.

  3. Enter the recipient's email address into the details box, and write your name in the From box. You also have the option to add a message and the recipient's name.

  4. Select Send now to lend out your Kindle book.

    Loan this book page on Amazon

Loan Kindle Books From the Product Detail Page

Another way to share Kindle books with others is by first finding it through the Kindle Store.

  1. Visit the Kindle Store to find the book you're wanting to share. You, of course, have to already own the book before you can share it.

  2. Once you're viewing the Kindle book's details page, select the link from the sentence at the top of the page that reads Loan this book to anyone you choose.

    Loan this book link for a book on Amazon
  3. A new window will open. Enter the recipient's email address, and your name, into the respective text boxes.

  4. Select Send now to lend out your Kindle book.

    Loan this book page on Amazon

How to Download a Borrowed Kindle Book

If a friend has sent you an eBook to borrow, follow these instructions for downloading it to your Kindle reading app:

  1. Open the email from the sender and select Get your loaned book now.

    Email showing how to get your loaned book from Amazon

    The email will come from Amazon.com with the subject line mentioning that someone has loaned you a Kindle eBook.

  2. If you know which device or reading app you'd like to send the Kindle book to, select it now, and then choose Accept loaned book.

If you don't have a Kindle or an app that can read Kindle books, select Accept loaned book anyway, and then follow the instructions for downloading a free Kindle reading app.

You might be asked to sign in to your Amazon account.

Accept your loaned Kindle book page on Amazon

Lending Limitations

Not all Kindle books can be loaned out. Only books that are marked as eligible for lending can actually be borrowed by others.

Once you've loaned a book out to someone, you can not read it during that period. In other words, a Kindle book can be read by only one person at a time, which means a book being borrowed from you is accessible only by the person that's borrowing it.

The person you've loaned your Kindle book to will have it for a maximum of 14 days (this period of time is set by the publisher) before it's returned back to you. Given that they have seven days to accept the loan, assuming they wait a full week to finally borrow the book, and given that you can't access your book from the moment you begin the loaning process, you could be without the Kindle book for a total of 21 days.

You can lend a particular book only once, which means once one person has borrowed a specific Kindle book from you, you can not loan the same book back out to the same person or anyone else.

Connecting With Others Who Want to Share Kindle Books

If you want to borrow a Kindle book that your friend doesn't have, there are certain websites that will let you connect with other people who want to share Kindle books. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Lendle: If you want to borrow a book from someone on this site, you can easily search for them through the website or using the bookmarklet, which lets you quickly search Lendle for books you find from Amazon's own site. You're able to sort results by how many borrowers there are as well as by the number of loan requests.
  • BookLending.com: Search for a book you'd like to borrow from all of the other BookLending.com users. As soon as the book becomes available, you'll get an email from Amazon. 
  • Goodreads: This website can connect to your Amazon account in seconds to make sharing Kindle books really easy. Follow the instructions on their website to learn how to start sharing books with other Goodreads members for free.

How to Share Kindle Books With Your Family

Another way you can share Kindle books is with your family. This uses Amazon's Family Library feature, which lets two adults and four children share their Kindle books, apps, and audiobooks with one another on a Family Library-enabled device or app.

If you have Amazon Prime, more benefits are shared with members of your family, such as free two-day shipping, Prime Video, and more.

Family Library is different than the above way of sharing Kindle books because the limitations in that method are non-existent here. This means the adult you're sharing your Kindle books with isn't limited to a 14-day borrow period, and you can both still read the same book at the same time.

The only thing that needs to be done to share Kindle books with your family is to define another adult and the children that should have access to your account.

  1. Select Add Adult.

    Amazon Household add adult button
  2. Log in if asked, and then enter the person's name and email address, and select Continue.

    Amazon Household add adult page

    The other option you have here is to choose Sign up together on this device, and the other person can log in to their Amazon account. If you go this route, the steps below are slightly different.

  3. Choose Agree and continue to enable both your account and the other adult's account to share payment methods.

    Share your wallet page on Amazon

    This is required if you wish to share content with each other. Keep in mind this means you'll both be able to view and use the other person's payment methods.

  4. Choose what you'd like to share with the other adult: Apps/Games, Audiobooks, and/or eBooks.

    Family Library page on Amazon
  5. Verify the other person's details and then select Send Invite.

    Send your invite page for Amazon Household

Adding a child to your account is as easy as following Step 1 and 2 again, but this time choose Add a Teen or Add a Child.

Only devices that support Amazon FreeTime can have access to child accounts.

How to Download a Kindle Book From Family Library

Once you and another adult in your household have given each other full access to the other person's Kindle books, getting the shared books is easy: visit the Manage Your Content and Devices section of your Amazon account, pick which ones should be delivered to your device, and select Deliver to pick a device.

Shared eBooks on Amazon