Stop spending so much money on e-books. Do this instead

Stop spending so much money on e-books. Do this instead

Stop spending so much money on e-books. Do this instead

E-books are a cheaper alternative to their hardcover and softcover brethren, but there’s an even cheaper way to enjoy reading. An app called Libby connects your eReader to your local public library, so you can borrow eBooks instead of buying them.

According to a 2022 Gallup poll, the average American reads about 13 books a year. Some ebooks, like Babel by RF Kuang, cost around $5. That means you could save around $65 a year by borrowing eBooks from your library instead of buying them. And if you’re a voracious reader who reads more than one book a month, you could save more.

Here’s how to read eBooks from your local public library with Libby.

First steps with Libby

You can download the Libby app to your phone or tablet from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Once the download is complete, navigate to Libby and you will be prompted to connect to your local public library. Libby was created by OverDrive, a digital reading platform connected to over 90% of all public libraries in North America.

Here’s how to log on to your local public library in Libby.

1. Open Libby on your device.

2. Use the prompts to find your local public library.

3. Enter your library card information.

After entering your library card information, you can begin browsing eBooks available at your local library.

How Libby Works

Borrowing eBooks from your local public library through Libby is similar to borrowing physical copies of books from the library. You are looking for an ebook in the app and if it is available then you can check it out and start reading it on your device now.

If the ebook is in the library system but has already been checked out by someone else, you can put the ebook on hold. Libby will also show you an estimated wait time for the ebook. When the ebook is available, your library will let you know.

Unlike physical books, the eBooks you borrow are returned automatically when they’re due in two to three weeks, saving you potential late fees.

All of these books can fit on an e-reader like a Kindle.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Using Libby with a Kindle

You can use Libby with The Amazon Kindle, also. This process is a bit more involved though, as in most cases you need to have the Libby app on a separate device, like your smartphone.

Here’s how to borrow ebooks with Libby for your Kindle.

1. After you find your local public library and enter your library card information into Libby from another device, tap the menu icon in the top right corner of your screen.

2. Faucet Read books with.

3. Faucet To light up.

Now, when you borrow an ebook for your Kindle, you’ll be redirected to that ebook’s Amazon page.

Before borrowing from Amazon, make sure you’re signed in to the account associated with the Kindle you’re trying to read. You also need to make sure that the eBook will be sent to the correct Kindle and not to another device linked to your account. There is a drop-down menu on the Amazon page that indicates which device your ebook will be delivered to. Tap the drop-down menu and select the correct device.

When you are sure the ebook will be sent to the correct device, tap Get the book from the libraryand the ebook will be on your Kindle the next time it connects to Wi-Fi.

You can also download Libby on your Kindle Fire. Here’s how.

1. Open Silk browser and tap this link to find Libby APK download link. Tap this download link.

2. Your device may notify you of the file stating that it is “unknown”. According to Libby, the file is tested to make sure it is safe for your device so you can ignore this warning. Faucet Continue, OKAY or To permitdepending on the answer that appears and allows you to continue.

3. When the file is downloaded, press Open. If this option does not appear, tap the three vertical dots in the upper right corner of the Silk Browser, tap Downloads then press the file kindlefireapk.apk.

4. A message that your device is not allowed to install “unknown apps” may appear. If you see this message, press Settings and toggle the switch next to Allow this source. Otherwise, go directly to step 6.

5. Faucet Back.

6. Faucet To install.

Once the app is finished, you will be prompted to open the app, or you can return to your home screen and tap the Libby icon to open the app.

If you had to change your Kindle Fire settings while installing Libby (step 4 above), you need to change your settings so that you don’t install malicious apps. Here’s how.

1. From your home screen, tap Settings.

2. Faucet Apps and Notifications.

3. Faucet Special app access.

4. Faucet Install unknown apps.

5. Faucet silk browser.

6. Turn off the switch next to Allow this source.

Now you can save money by borrowing eBooks directly from your local public library. Good reading!

For more, here’s CNET best ereaders of 2023 and best tablets of 2023.

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