Read Books for Free with Libby

Save money on ebooks and audiobooks with no late fees

Devette Lindsay


Photo by Susan Q Yin on Unsplash

Ok, I admit it! I own too many books and I’m running out of places to stash them. This fact has not stopped me from perusing Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and my local used bookshop regularly in hopes of finding the next best read. Sigh! However, to avoid sacrificing a couch for yet another bookcase, I’ve chosen to purchase only those books that I plan on reading again. I’ve also decided to explore the offerings at my local library.

Meet Libby

During my library visit, I learned about their useful app, Libby by Overdrive. Libby allows you to borrow both ebooks and audiobooks to enjoy on your own devices. The app was developed by Overdrive, a global distributor of digital content for libraries & schools. It also creates apps and websites designed specifically for the institutions it serves. You can download Libby from both the Apple Store and the Google Play Store.

Time to Renew Your Library Card

To start using Libby, all you’ll need is an up-to-date library card and your ID. I’ve not used my card in over 15 years but it only took a few minutes to renew it during my in-person visit. (Online renewal is not currently an option in my town. Your town may differ).

After downloading the app and creating my account, I searched for my book club’s selection, The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese. Finding it on the app was easy. Borrowing it was a bit more challenging. Here are some of the pros and cons I’ve found:

The Pros

  • The interface is user-friendly and easy to use.
  • Read your ebook on the Libby app or your Kindle.
  • Listen to a sample of the ebook or audiobook before you borrow.
  • The app displays the virtual queue for your ebook and estimates the date it will be available to download.
  • The digital media is returned automatically from your device. No late fees.
  • You can reserve the digital version of many popular magazines, often without a wait.

The Cons

  • You cannot reserve physical books or magazines.



Devette Lindsay

I'm a writer, an avid reader, and a fan of magic found within the mundane. I publish articles on speculative fiction, literature and creativity.