Free Library App Saves Money on Ebooks

Free Library App Saves Money on Ebooks

How to Save Money and Borrow Ebooks with Libby


Reading books has become a popular pastime, and with the back-to-school season commencing, many people are reaching for their favorite novels. However, purchasing physical copies or even ebooks can quickly add up and strain your wallet. Fortunately, there is a solution that allows you to enjoy your favorite titles without breaking the bank. Libby, an innovative app, connects your e-reader, tablet, or phone to your local public library, enabling you to borrow ebooks and audiobooks free of charge.

According to a 2022 Statista report, ebooks generated an estimated $1.1 billion in revenue in 2020. With 191 million ebooks published that year, the average cost of an ebook was approximately $5. By utilizing Libby, you can save a substantial amount of money by borrowing ebooks from your local library instead of purchasing them. For avid readers, this could mean savings of over $65 every year, or even more if you read more than one book per month.

Getting started with Libby

To begin your journey of borrowing ebooks for free with Libby, you first need to download the app from either the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. Once the app is installed, open it and follow these steps to connect to your local public library:

  1. Open Libby on your device.
  2. Use the prompts to search for your local public library.
  3. Enter your library card information.

After providing your library card information, you can start exploring the vast collection of ebooks available from your local library.

How Libby works

Borrowing ebooks and audiobooks through Libby is akin to borrowing physical books from the library. Using the app, you can search for ebooks and check them out if they are available. However, if the ebook is currently checked out by another library patron, you can place a hold on it. Libby will display an estimated wait time for the ebook under the “Holds” tab on your shelf. Once the ebook becomes available, your library will notify you via Libby. You then have three days to decide whether to borrow the ebook, postpone delivery, or cancel the hold.

Unlike physical books, ebooks borrowed through Libby are automatically returned when they are due, typically within two to three weeks. This feature saves you from worrying about late fees. The app also allows you to keep track of the time remaining on a hold for each ebook in your library.

Since libraries have to purchase ebooks from publishers, there is a limited number of copies available for checkout at any given time. Placing holds on highly sought-after ebooks, even if it might take some time to access them, is crucial as it demonstrates your interest to the library and secures your spot in line.

Using Libby with a Kindle

If you own an Amazon Kindle, you can also use Libby to borrow ebooks. However, the process is slightly more involved, as you typically require the Libby app installed on a separate device such as your smartphone. Here’s how to borrow ebooks with Libby for your Kindle:

  1. After connecting to your local public library and entering your library card information in Libby on another device, tap the menu icon in the top-right corner of your screen.
  2. Tap “Read books with.”
  3. Select “Kindle.”

Upon selecting an ebook to borrow for your Kindle, you will be redirected to the Amazon page for that specific ebook. Before borrowing, ensure that you are signed into the correct Amazon account associated with your Kindle. Additionally, make sure that the ebook is sent to the appropriate Kindle device rather than another device linked to your account. Select the correct device from the drop-down menu on the Amazon page.

Once you have verified the device destination, tap “Get Library Book,” and the ebook will be delivered to your Kindle the next time it connects to Wi-Fi.

For Kindle Fire users, you can also download the Libby app directly on your device. Follow these steps to install the app on a Kindle Fire:

  1. Open the Silk Browser on your Kindle Fire and tap this link to find the download link for the Libby APK. Proceed to download the APK file.
  2. If your device displays a warning about the “unknown” file, you can dismiss it, as Libby ensures the safety of the downloaded file for your device.
  3. Once the file is downloaded, open it by tapping “Open.” If the option is not available, tap the three vertical dots in the top-right corner of the Silk browser, then tap “Downloads,” and select the “kindlefireapk.apk” file.
  4. If your device prompts you with a message stating that it doesn’t have permission to install unknown apps, tap “Settings” and toggle the switch to allow installation from this source.
  5. Tap “Back.”
  6. Tap “Install.”

After completing these steps, the Libby app will be ready to use on your Kindle Fire. It is advisable to revert the settings you changed earlier (step 4) to prevent the accidental installation of malicious apps.


With Libby, you can enjoy a vast collection of ebooks and audiobooks through your local public library at no cost. By connecting your e-reader, tablet, or smartphone to Libby, you save money and gain access to a variety of titles. Whether you prefer classics or contemporary fiction, borrowing ebooks using Libby is a convenient and budget-friendly way to indulge in your favorite reads. Start using Libby today and embark on a new literary adventure without stretching your wallet.

For more information on e-readers and tablets, check out ENBLE’s best e-readers and best tablets of 2023.