Answered By: Anna Kate Tippett - Sarasota County Libraries
Last Updated: Jul 14, 2020     Views: 3529

There are two different ways to download books onto your Kindle, and these will apply to any kind of Kindle, including the Paperwhite, Oasis, and Fire models. Both options offer the same collection of eBooks and are owned by the same provider; the only difference between the two is how you access them. If you prefer to use a computer to search for eBooks, then you’ll want to use Overdrive, which is the website version. If you’d prefer to use an app on a smartphone or tablet, then you’ll want to download the free Libby app. For information on using Libby to download and read eBooks on Kindle Paperwhite, please click here.  

If you'd like to view a larger version of any of the pictures, click on the picture and it will open full size in a new window.

Borrowing and Downloading eBooks:

  1. First, access the website by clicking here
  2. Click on the green Sign In button on the right side of the screen.
  3. Type your library card number in the box and click the green Sign in button.
  4. The home page for Overdrive will now load again. The green Sign in button on the right side of the screen will now be replaced with My account. From here, we can now browse and search the eBook collection. 
  5. Overdrive offers a few different types of eBooks, include Kindle eBooks. In order to see just Kindle books, we can click on the Kindle Books button located on the left side of the screen, below and slightly to the left of the Sarasota County Logo. 
  6. A new screen will now load. From here, we now have the option to filter through some of the results. This step is optional. For example, under the Availability tab, you can click on Available now to only see books that are available to be checked out right now. You can also narrow down the results by subject under the Subject tab. Right now it only shows a few options: Fiction, Juvenile Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Nonfiction, Fantasy, and Mystery. Clicking on any of those will filter out all books except the ones in that subject. You can also select the More button below Mystery to view other subjects, such as Romance or Thriller.
  7. You can use as many or as few filters as you like at one time. Simply click on the filters you’d like to use to apply it. As you add filters, they will appear at the top of the filter options in little green bubbles. To remove one, simply click the X in the bubble. You can also remove all filters at once by click the red Clear All text, located just to the right of the filter sidebar.
  8. Once you’ve found a book you’d like to check out, click on the cover, and then click on the green Borrow button on the new screen.
  9. A pop-up menu will now appear like the one in the picture below. You can select how long you’d like to borrow the book for: 7 days, 14 days, or 21 days. Your lending period preference will automatically be filled in, but you can choose one of the other options. Once you’ve chosen your lending period, click the green Borrow button.  Please note: the default lending period preference is 14 days. For instructions on how to change your preference, please see Managing Settings section of this FAQ. 
  10. A new pop-up menu will now appear. Clicking on the X in the upper right hand corner will close the menu and take you back to screen with the book information. To download the book onto your Kindle, click on the black Read now with Kindle button. 
  11. A new window will open. If you’re not already signed in to your Amazon account, the Amazon’s sign in screen will appear in the new window. Enter your email address or user name and your password for your Amazon account and and click the yellow Sign-in button. 
  12. Once you’re signed in to your Amazon account (or if you were already signed in) your screen should look like the one in the picture below. On the right side of the screen is a yellow button that says Get Library Book. Below that should be a box that says “Deliver To” followed by the name of your Kindle (or your default Kindle device if you have more than one). To change which device the book is delivered to, click the arrow and then click on the name of the device you’d like the book delivered to. Once you’ve selected the device you’d like it delivered to, click the yellow Get Library Book button.  
  13. Your screen should now look like the one below. This means that the book has been successfully checked out and added to your Amazon account. The book will automatically download to the device you selected. You can also download the title on any other Amazon devices you have, as long as they are connected to your Amazon account, and your progress will be saved and synced across your devices. 


Renewing eBooks or Returning eBooks Early

All eBooks will be returned automatically on their due date, which will be exactly 7 days, 14 days, or 21 days (depending on the lending period you chose at check-out) from the date and the time you checked out the book. They can be returned early or renewed in some cases.

To renew or return an eBook early:

  1. Go to Overdrive’s website and click on My account on the right side of the screen, and then choose Loans from the pop-up menu. 
  2. You should now see all of the items you currently have checked out in Overdrive. Below each book cover should be a little button that looks like this . To return the book early, click on the Return button and then click the green Return Title button on the pop-up menu. The book will now be returned and will no longer be available to read on your Kindle.
  3. eBooks can be renewed as long as there’s not a hold on the item and you haven’t reached the renewal limit. This option will not be available until 3 days before your book’s due date. Once it is exactly no more than 3 days to the book’s due date, a renew button will appear on this screen. Click the button to renew it. Please note the review button will only appear if the book can be renewed, and it will only appear exactly three days before the due date, down to the minute. For example, if you checked out an item for 14 days on May 1st at 3:46 pm, the book will be due on May 15th at 3:46 pm, and the renew button will not appear before May 12th at 3:46 pm. It will also not appear if there is a hold on the book.


Managing Settings – Lending Periods and Kindle eBook Preference

When using Overdrive to check out Kindle eBooks, there are a few default settings that you might wish to change. Overdrive allows us to change to the settings for material checkout periods, what kind of content we see, and display settings for viewing the website. For information on how to adjust each setting, please follow the following steps. 

  1. To access your settings, go to Overdrive's website. Then click on My account on the right side of the screen, and select Settings from the drop-down menu.
  2. The Settings Screen will now load. The first section is the General section. Here, you can adjust the lending periods for any materials you borrow from Overdrive. The lending periods are 7 days, 14 days, and 21 days, and you can just a different period for eBooks and eAudiobooks. Overdrive’s default lending period is 14 days, but you can change to either the shorter or the longer period if you’d like. Simply click on the 7 days, 14 days, or 21 days option, and Overdrive will automatically save the option you choose. When you check out an item now, it will be checked out to you for the length of time you just chose. Once your due date arrives, it will automatically be returned for you. 
  3. The final setting in the General section is History. If there’s a green checkmark in the box next to History, that means this option is turned on. Turning this feature on will save a history of items you’ve checked out in Overdrive, starting from the day you turn it on. Simply click on the box to turn the feature off or on. You can always visit this page again and adjust this setting.  
  4. The next section is your Content Preferences. The first option allows you to select the material Audience(s) you’d like to see in Overdrive. All audiences is the default setting, but you can also select Juvenile, Young adult, General adult, or Mature adult. To select one or more types of materials you’d like to see, simply click on each one, just like we did with the lending periods, and Overdrive will save the ones you select. You can select multiple options, or just one. 
  5. The last setting in the Content Preferences setting is of particular interest to Kindle Paperwhite users. If turned on, this option will automatically filter out any eBooks that are not Kindle eBooks, meaning the only eBooks you’ll see in Overdrive will be Kindle books. To turn this option on, click the box next to it and a green checkmark will appear. You can always turn this option off or on later.
  6. The final section is called Display Options. The settings in this section refer to how Overdrive’s website is displayed. If either option is turned on, then each time you visit Overdrive while logged in to your account, the website’s appearance will reflect the option you’ve chosen. The default setting is to have both turned off, but you can always choose to turn on one or both options. Simply click the box next to either option to turn it on, and a green checkmark will appear. The setting will automatically be saved, and the appearance of the website will change based on the option you chose.