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Reader Tip: Snag eBooks for FREE from Your Library with Overdrive

3:05 PM MST
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.

Are you gifting a loved one a Kindle or eReader or are you hoping to receive a Kindle or eReader for Christmas!? If so, check out the email from reader, Ginger, which contains some great tips on how to go about snagging eBooks for FREE…

I don’t know if you’ve ever posted this but many libraries across America are now using Overdrive to offer their patrons free ebooks. After downloading the necessary programs (for free) onto your computer and your devices (iPod/iPhone, Android, Kindle, Nook, etc.), you simply check the books out from your library. It’s awesome. A great feature is that they automatically revert back to the library at the end of the lending period, so you don’t have to ever worry about overdue fines!

I don’t buy books for my e-reader anymore. I get them from my library. My county is new to this so they are building their database. But we even bought a fee card (good for every member in my family) from the larger county next to ours because they have a much larger database of books than my county currently has. I used to spend an average of $8-10 for a book on my Nook, but now–ZERO. I can also get free audiobooks to listen to as well, which I like to do on my phone as I’m walking.

I thought with many people perhaps giving or getting e-readers or new phones for Christmas, this might be worth mentioning.

So how about you?! Do you have any other suggestions for how to snag free or cheap eBooks?!

Join the Discussion

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  • Meghann says:

    I have a nook and read both kindle and nook books. You can get the free reading apps for pc for both. Barnes and Noble has a free book every friday. Just google “free book friday” and it is on the nookblog. Here is a link:
    Then I always look through the comments because other people post free books. Another new website that mostly features kindle books is
    Any other free places would be great! I love my nook but don’t love to buy books. I also use Overdrive through my library and LOVE it!!!

    • Christy says:

      Thanks for the link and info! I have been using my local public library for a year or so to check out digital books and I love it! I also love my kindle but don’t love buying books!

    • Lindsay M. says:

      How do you read Kindle books on your Nook?

      • Meghann says:

        Well you can read them on the Kindle reading app for PC or I have a N2A card. Just google it and you will see what it is. I have a Nook Color. I actually made my own by finding directions online but if you are not very tech savvy it might be worth just buying it. They sell them on Amazon. It is just a sd card that you put in your Nook’s card slot and it boots in Android mode allowing you to read the Kindle books. The great thing is that it does not change or “root” your Nook. When you want to boot back into Nook mode you just power down, take the card out and boot back up.

  • caroldawn says:

    I’ve been doing this for about 2-3 years now, but I only get audio books. It takes me forever to get through a book, but I’ve found that if I transfer it to my iPod it can stay there forever or until I get ready to delete it. If I put it on my iPhone then it gets zapped out at the end of the check out period.

    • Jen (@westcologirl) says:

      Really? I never put audio books on my ipod because I was afraid they would go away before I was done with them. I always burn them to cds (ugh – what a waste of cds!).Thanks for the tip! I would prefer to put them on my ipod!

  • Desiree says:

    I love Overdrive. I use it all the time for my Nook. I even got my parents (one has a Nook, the other has an iPad) into using Overdrive.

  • karen says:

    I check out audio books for my kids (age 6, 9, and 11) all the time from my library!!! So cheap and gets them listening to a good book when I can’t read to them. Some libraries have more than others though.

  • Donna says:

    Hi – I’ve been doing this for about a month and really liked it until I checked out a book that I was only about half way thru after 2 weeks. You have no way to finish the book until you sign up again and get back in the waitlist rotation. I wish we could at least check them out for 4 weeks as I’m usually too busy to read a book in 2 weeks. I ended up buying the book on Amazon because I didn’t want to wait 6 weeks to finish it (there were 3 people in the wait list).

    • Melissa says:

      That’s the same problem I’ve come across. I hate to be rushed when I’m reading a good book and sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done and then take some time to read.

      • Casey says:

        You can change your settings from a 14-day to checkout to a 21-day checkout.

        • wonderwort says:

          You can only change the settings to 21-day checkout if your library pays for that option. But, if you have a nook, here is a tip – as long as you don’t turn off your Nook (just let it go into its sleep mode) and as long as you don’t switch out of the book that is overdue, you can just keep reading it for as long as your battery lasts (which with a nook is a long time). Just make sure the wifi is turned off in settings and make sure all you are doing with the nook is reading that particular book.

  • adela5 says: This is great site for free books ,i never buy books anymore

  • fingers says:

    I use a website where you share ebooks with each other. It’s a private group tho. I buy my programming books tho. No bueno on a Nook. Plus, I’m confused why ebooks are about the same price as a printed book … I’m calling you out Harlequin Presents!

  • Liz says:

    I have the ‘free kindle books and tips’ app on my Kindle Fire, he list several free books a day through amazon. He also has a blog,, that you can see these deals. I have had my Kindle for about a year and have downloaded a ton of the books posted and very rarely buy books.

  • Lindsay says:

    Thanks for promoting one of the many free services libraries offer! If you want to read classics, try Project Gutenberg ( If you like science fiction and fantasy try Baen Free Library ( Stop by your local library to find out what your library offers!

  • Brandy says:

    I do this for my audio books. I just won a Kindle from my Christmas party and completely didn’t even think about using the e-library for that:)

  • beth says:

    Crystal Paine from Money Saving Mom has just created a new website called eReader Girl. It’s a great resource with a promising future. Check it out:

  • Kristi says:

    I love You can sign up for daily emails for certain categories of books – like romance, science fiction, mystery – so you only have to look through books you might actually be interested in. Most of the books are either free or 99cents.

    • Carla says: is my favorite site too – I love the books they offer (a mix of free books and low cost books) – and the daily email is a great way to let me know what is available rather than having to go check the site often.

  • Donna says:

    My local library also has a service called “FREEGAL”. If you have access to it you can download 3 free mp3’s a week from a massive database. I love it. Since last spring I’ve downloaded over 100 free songs. Sweet!

  • Stacy says:

    I love overdrive. Our library has been doing this for about 2 years and it is so popular all of the books have waiting lists.

  • awesomeashley87 says:

    How do you get this Overdrive thing downloaded on the Nook tablet? I’ve been trying to utilize the free books on my Nook, but I’m so confused!

    • Pam S says:

      I am a librarian and frequently teach classes on how to use Overdrive, Freading, OneClickDigital, and other free eBook and audiobook library services. For the Nook you will have to download free software from Overdrive called Adobe Digital Editions to your computer and then download the eBooks that and then to your Nook. Your public library website should have instructions on how to do this step by step. Or, you can Google it.

  • Casey says:

    If you have a Kindle and Amazon Prime, you can also join the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library to borrow books.

    • Mollie says:

      This works with any tablet or PC and the Kindle app too! I love non-proprietary devices (though I still have my nook that rarely gets used)!

      • Meghann says:

        Mollie look into a N2A card for your Nook. I made my own with directions online although it can be a little tricky. Amazon has them on their site to buy as well. It enables you to boot your Nook in Android mode and use the Nook reading app.

  • Deb W says:

    Thank you, all, for the information. My boys are geeting Kindle for Christmas.
    When we tarvel, we take along a huge bag of books for them to read. Hoping this will cut down on our load. Any suggestions for sites geared towards kids books – 3rd grade and above?
    Thank you in advance and Happy Holidays

    • Liz says: is a great site to get free or cheap books, they even have a YA and Kids section. I would not let your child roam this site unsupervised though because there is also a erotica section, just fyi.

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