Friday, January 22, 2016

How to find and use the Kindle Owners' Lending Library on latest Kindle Fire tablets as well as e-Ink Kindle eReaders. Basics on Kindle Unlimited and Kindle First. UPDATED January 22, 2016

Finding the Kindle Owners' Lending Library (KOLL)

  - May 2015 but Updated Jan 22, 2016,
While looking up info for Prime Music to use with the new Amazon Echo that I finally received, and to answer questions for friends who have received one as well, I found that the older methods for finding KOLL had changed for the later Kindle Fire tablets.

Also, the Kindle Owners' Lending Library (KOLL) is no longer highlighted in the top banners when you go to the book store, and the link to it, on Kindle Fire tablets, is in the unseen menu that you need to swipe to the right, from the left edge, to see -- or you can click on the TINY menu icon at the top left to get the options, but I usually have better luck with the swiping method.

So, this is a refresher for those who've not used it for awhile (like me) and may be completely new info for recent Kindle owners because Amazon features, more visibly, (1) Kindle Unlimited, a ($10/month subscription that allows anyone to borrow up to 10 books at a given time instead of only Kindle device owners being able to borrow one-only per calendar month for free), as well as (2) the Kindle First program and other currently highlighted features.

For details on how the Kindle Owners' Lending Library wime-orks, see the scrolling page of Kindleworld blog articles on this feature.

  The details found on that scrolling page will answer a lot of common questions about the program.

The Kindle Owners' Lending library started with only 5,000+ books and is currently at over 1,160,000 Kindle books, according to my Paperwhite 2's all-categories display for the lending library.

And here, seen in a web browser, is a straight listing of over 1,188,000 Prime-Eligible Kindle books, the default listing being those that Amazon is currently featuring -- and if you change the Sorting (at top right) from "Featured" to "Avg Customer Review," you'll see which ones have a lot of 5-star ratings for whatever reasons.

  The Kindle Unlimited program includes books that are not Prime-Eligible.  Harry Potter books are a part of the Kindle Unlimited subscription feature, but it seems that most Potter books are not designated "Prime"-eligible currently (Publisher did not agree to do it), so Prime members who are Kindle owners cannot borrow those to read via KOLL/Prime program, but KOLL subscribers can of course borrow them plus nine other books to read at any given time, for their $10/month.

  The lending library (KOLL) started with only 5,000+ books and the number of Prime-Eligible books for borrowing for reading on Kindle devices is currently at over 1,188,000+ Kindle books.

  The more-often featured Kindle Unlimited program gets Amazon $10/mo from each member for the flexibility allowing almost unlimited borrowing from that set of over a million Kindle books, available to users of ANY reading device (not just Kindle Owners).

  On both, you can browse by categories or, when using a Kindle e-Ink eReader or a Kindle Fire tablet, you can search the lending library. The Kindle Fire tablets use up more room with their large color book cover graphics, and the Search feature is very important when you're looking for a specific book or topic.

  Prime shipping members (UK here) who own Kindle devices can use KOLL, but it's not available on Kindle apps for other devices.

  You can borrow one Kindle book per calendar month, from a choice of over 1,188,000 now, without dealing with waiting times or due-dates.  The Big6 publishers don't tend to place their books in this library though.

  I borrowed a book the other day (after returning one I had held onto for a long time), so I won't be able to borrow another one until the next calendar month, June, after I return the current loan.

's Lending Library:
     Rules for borrowing
        Note:  When you borrow a Prime library book,
              you do this from your Kindle, at the Kindle's Kindle Store

                and not from the Amazon web pages.
        The BIG RED $0.00 you see on the product page for "Prime" cost
        means it's $0.00 to Borrow it, from the Kindle,

How to borrow from the KOLL on your Kindle
Amazon changes the navigation process somewhat as the years and models roll by. The Help page they have is not quite up to date because the navigation steps tend to differ a bit between the devices.

The first images below are from Amazon, showing generally (vaguely) what the process looks like on e-Ink eReaders,
and those images are followed by some screenshots of the process on my Year 2013 Kindle Fire HDX tablet.

Getting to the Lending Library -- On the Kindle e-Ink eReaders, Amazon seems to have changed the method a bit very recently, on the varying devices (maybe they're programmed by different Kindle teams).

On my Paperwhite 2, Year 2014~, there are two ways:
  1. I can tap the top-right Menu and Select "Shop Kindle Store"
That brings up the store menu, and then I need to tap the top-right store-menu, which offers the "Kindle Owners' Lending Library' option near the bottom.
  2. I can also tqp the CART icon at the top, which also takes me to the store, where a tap on the store menu at top-right will offer me the KOLL option near the bottom.

The resulting KOLL page for e-Ink readers DEFAULTS now to just show all categories (pure text) without requiring us to choose All Categories as some older models do  It's well organized.

  Older Kindle e-Ink readers will differ somewhat in several ways, as mentioned (I no longer have one to use for tests).  The Amazon help page does still mention choosing "All Categories" or maybe "See all categories" before seeing the Lending Library option, but that doesn't apply to my Paperwhite2 eReader.

Here's Amazon's VIDEO-tutorial (this video doesn't run on e-Ink Kindle Blog Edition subscriptions), which uses a recent Kindle eReader model   Although the steps shown in the video don't match precisely steps needed for various eReaders, their current help page indicates that the KOLL benefits are available on any Kindle eReader. Continue to let us know if you have problems finding KOLL on an old Kindle e-Ink Reader.  I'll look into it more.

 VIDEO: (Kindle Blog Edition subscribers shouldn't try to run this.  Use a computer, tablet, or smartphone instead)

That comes from the Kindle borrowing-help page -- the text steps on that page are not entirely clear, but it's helpful to read it.  It has links to areas that explain other aspects of the borrowing programs.

On a Kindle Fire tablet, you'd click on 'Books' in the top menu.
Then, at your library listing, click on the "Store" icon at top-right corner.

At the Bookstore, swipe right, from left edge, to get the options
and choose "Kindle Owners' Lending Library," near the bottom of the page.
(These are all Prime-eligible books and show as $0.00 for Kindle Unlimited users as well.)

When you get the KOLL screen to browse,
you can also search for a book or author at the top.
I typed 'Amy Tan' into the search field.

I didn't find anything by Tan in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library
and chose from results showing books with similar content.
When deciding on one, you'll see "Borrow for Free" under the orange "Buy for ___".

When I did this, Amazon reminded me that I still had a book out from this library
and I needed to return it first, as we get only one book per calendar month.

That's it!

The Kindle First program
The Kindle First program, introduced by Amazon in the U.S., is also available in the UK.

  For those who haven't tried it yet, in either country, Amazon offers, each month, 4 of the next month's new releases early and from these you can select one.  They're Editors' Picks, and anyone can buy one of the featured book for $.99 (or UK £0.99).  HOWEVER if you are a Prime (UK prime page here) program member, you get that selection for FREE (capitalization courtesy of Amazon).

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

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  1. how about if i don't have a kindle device? but i have a kindle for pc.
    how can i borrow prime eligible books? is there a way?

    1. Anonymous, sorry, it's not a feature for apps. I mentioned in the article that the Kindle Owners Lending Library works only for Kindle devices and not for Kindle apps. Understandaby, Amazon is trying to encourage buying of its own devices, in order to get a free book to reach each calendar month...

  2. and does kindle prime contains different books from kindle unlimited?

    1. Anonymous, a lot of Kindle Unlimited books (which you can borrow up to 10 of at any given time) ARE also prime, but quite a few are not Prime books. There's an overlap. On the first page shown me when I click Books and then Store, and the Kindles Unlimited from the left Menu, are rows of books that make up Kindle Unlimited offerings . On three books I clicked on that opening page just now, "What She Left Behind" by Ellen Marie Wiseman and also "The Wives of "Alamo" by TaraShea Nesbit, as well as "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood (published by HoughtonMiffin Harcourt) are all NOT Prime labeled.

  3. Thank you for all the Prime member Amazon website links!! I'm a new member, and was having trouble finding all the web links for the Prime 'Perks'! I'll bookmark them for future reference.

    1. Brenda, glad that was helpful. I'd never seen KOLL on my tablets before though I had used it from my Kindle Voyage e-Ink reader and it took me awhile to find it, though it turned out to be simple enough though mentionoed only at the end of a menu that doesn't show up unless you swipe or click on the barely noticeable top-left menu, since our attention is taken by the many highlighted features shown at the top.

      There ARE A lot of Prime perks that many I know aren't aware of. Welcome to the goodies :-) It's all enticing. I use the shipping and the Music the most, but there are quite a few decent offerings in the Movie and TV videos area too.

      Also, if you like PBS offerings, get the PBS app if you have a tablet. They have most of the shows that many of us tend to miss and we can catch them later that way too.

  4. Thanks for the links. I'd been looking for them or ages and found this blog by google search. Now I'm reading voraciously ;)

    1. Dave, glad you found the blog. Am hoping you'll find other things of interest. Am going to re-organize the right column to make less-known features easier to find. Thanks for writing !

  5. HALF HOUR TRYING TO FIND LENDING LIBRARY ON THE PC AND THE KINDLE - where is it? This interface Amazon setup totally sucks. It's meant to have people NOT USE THE SERVICE.

    1. Anonymous, I had screen illustrations, in the article, on how to find the Lending Library on the e-Ink Kindle and Kindle Fire devices. It is usable only from a Kindle device (as I mentioned). It's not usable from a PC...

    2. This has been solved by an amazing website

      It allows you to select ONLY the Lending Library.
      -I suggest not selecting "Free" the first time you search for a book with the Lending Library check box selected.

  6. I just want to add a reminder that you should NOT be online at Apparently I am that much of an idiot, no one needs to beat me to calling me that. I had put my kindle fire away for almost a year since I use my iPad for everything. I understood I needed to be on my kindle to have access to the lending library, but I kept getting on via safari and kept getting frustrated as to why I couldn't frickin figure this out! So for me it would have been helpful to actually start the walk through pics from the fire opening screen and not the screen after. I'm gonna start using my fire more often LOL.

    1. Glad you figured it out :-) I think that once you get to the Books screen and its menu, it becomes clear. Thanks for the feedback.

  7. Is there any way to search the lending library? The Amazon instructions say to click "borrow for free" without explaining how to find a book.

    1. Unknown aka SecondRodeo, in the body of the article I have this caption with one of the images:
      "When you get the KOLL screen to browse,
      you can also search for a book or author at the top.
      I typed 'Amy Tan' into the search field."

      Check that out. I agree that Amazon doesn't make it clear, but I was hoping this article and images with captions would help. Hope you're able to do the search.

  8. I just recently found out about KOLL and have been trying to borrow a book but every time I look for one the options I get are buy, read for free with unlimited or sample. Ive been following the step by step process you posted early with regards to the fire tablet and still I do not get a borrow link. What else should I be doing?

    1. You got to the screen that is like the next-to-last one on this page and with a 'War Brides' book image and you don't get a 'borrow' button?

      Are you actually a Prime member? And are you in the U.S. If you aren't, you won't get the option shown.

      If you are, then call Kindle Support at 1-866-321-8851 and let them know. If you have time, let me know what you find in connection with the Kindle you're using and your Prime membership after yhou call Kindle Support.

  9. I am a prime member and have just got a kindle fire.
    I have used my basic kindle (once) for borrowing a book - when I had the free trial for prime.
    I don't see Kindle Owners Lending Library on the menu - just Kindle Lending Library. When I browse the books I don't see the borrow for free option - just either buy or use kindle unlimited.
    Am I missing something here? Amazon UK

    1. Anonymous, of January 13 -- You mention: "when I had the free trial for prime" you were able to borrow a book for your basic Kindle.

      Only Prime members have access to the Kindle Owners Lending Library (KOLL) but you mention you ARE a Prime member. I included illustrations on what you would see on an e-Ink Kindle and you say you were able to borrow a book during the free trial period.

      If you don't see what the illustrations show above, I would contact a Kindle Rep at and their reps in the UK call you within a minute or so. Explain the situation to see if your Prime is registering with them (so they can see you're a member) and they should be able to do something about it.

      Let me know what happens with that, if you can. Good luck !

  10. I am a current prime member and was able to locate the KOLL on my very old kindle... gen 2 :) However, I do not see a "Borrow for Free" button for any title. I have checked with several friends with newer kindles and they have the same problem. I even de-registered my kindle and then registered it up to my account again thinking perhaps I was having account problems (though I have been able to purchase a book within the past month and download a book from Kindle First). Is it possible that this service has been discontinued? Any help or tips would be greatly appreciated! TIA.

    1. Sara, I'm updating this blog article sometime today, though I don't know if it'll help on the Kindle 2 (but I'm hopeful).  I do know this is a feature that all Kindle e-Ink readers are supposed to have, per Amazon's latest help pages (assuming they're updated -- they are a little behind in matching the screen displays.


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