Here’s How I Read Bestsellers for Free on Kindle

Spoiler alert: libraries are amazing. It’s basically every book ever published. Under one roof. For free. But what if eBooks are your thing? Let me tell you about Libby.

In short, Libby is digital reading room for ebooks and other content from your local library. Essentially, libraries license a limited number of ebooks from publishers, which can be digitally borrowed for two week durations. Just like a physical book!

The great thing is that you don’t need to leave your couch — although you should, libraries are awesome — and you can often get access to new releases or bestsellers fairly quickly.

How does it work?

  1. Download Libby.
  2. Have your local library card handy, and then enter your deets as you go through onboarding.
  3. Download all the books!

Other fun stuff

Libby also gives you access to tons of magazines, including expensive or rarely-discounted titles like The Economist ($150/yr) and The New Yorker ($50/yr). Plus you can get push notifications whenever a new title is available, which is super-convenient.

The app itself is well-designed and the reading experience is great. It’s easy to highlight books, add notes, and add additional titles to specific “to-read” lists. Additionally, the queue system for putting a book on hold or renewing a title is really straightforward.

And you can sync borrowed titles over to your Kindle in just a few taps.

More of an audio person? You can also download and listen to audiobooks, right in the app.

All in all, Libby is a fantastic way to access library books, no matter which couch you’re currently sitting on. Obviously, the book selection will vary from library to library, but the search, discovery, and reading processes are all top-notch. And free!


PS: Libby used to be called Overdrive, but about two years ago rebranded, and now features a slick librarian (or reader?) logo/persona, whom I can only assume is the “Libby” in question.

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