While I am currently on vacation, traipsing around the Highlands of Scotland, I am still learning.  Just like I love podcasts, I sure hope you enjoyed reading my previous post on that topic, I also love e-books.  For this three-week adventure, I decided to leave my computer at home and just take my iPad.  To make it a little bit easier on myself, I also brought along an Apple wireless keyboard, to type my blog posts.

At the Seattle/Tacoma airport, where I boarded my flight to Glasgow, I saw a sign that attracted my attention. To be honest with you, since I am a huge book nerd, it doesn’t take much to get me to notice anything advertising free books!

So there I was, with the ability to download a free e-book to take with me.  Better yet, I didn’t even need a library card to take advantage of the free offer.  Instead, I was given the option to sign up for a free two-day pass.  I was allowed to download 3 books and for 14 days. Sweet!

So I quickly browsed their catalog and found 3 books I’d been wanting to read and made my choice. The only extra thing I had to do was download the Overdrive app onto my iPad to read the e-books.  Seeing as how the app is free, and the Seattle airport has free WI-Fi, this wasn’t a hardship in the least.  Once I boarded the plane, I was able to spend 9 hours of down-time catching up on my reading, instead of watching movies or just sleeping.  How awesome is that?

Now of course, being an avid reader, I already have a slew of great books in the Kindle app of my iPad.  Which means that I am never without a great book at my fingertips. While KIndle books are relatively in-expensive, they are not free.  Because I am a “Bootstrap Entrepreneur” I don’t have access to all the business books I’d like.  However, recently, I found out that there’s a way to borrow other people’s Kindle books.  Wow, I think this must be the best kept secret ever.

So how does Kindle book borrowing work?  Here’s the process:

Step 1

  • To borrow an e-book from a Kindle owner, they first have to lend it to you.
  • This means the Kindle book owner has to go to: “amazon.com/mycd” and go to the e-book they are willing to lend you.
  • From there, they can access the “Manage Your Content and Devices” section of their account.

Step 2

  • Next, they lender clicks on the “Action” box right next to the title of the e-book, which is denoted by an ellipsis.
  • From there, they click on “Loan this title.”
  • If the option is not available, this means that the book is not eligible for lending.

Step 3

  • If the book is eligible for lending, they will type in some information (ex. required fields are the recipient’s email address and the name of the lender).
  • The e-mail address should be the recipient’s personal one and NOT their Kindle address.
  • Once the lender has filled out the fields, they click the “Send now” tab.

Step 4

  • Once the book has been sent, check your email and open the message. In the email body, click on the tab that says “Get your loaned book now.”
  • You will be prompted to sign into your Kindle Account and pick a device to send the borrowed book to, then click on the “Accept Loaned Book” button.

Step 5

  • To later return the e-book to the lender, go to “Manage Your Content and Devices” via the “amazon.com/mycd” address.
  • Next, to the title of the book you’re returning under the “Your Content” tab, check the box under “Select” then click on the “Action” box.  From the pop-up menu, select “Return this book.” Confirm the return by clicking “Yes.”

Note, just a few things you need to know:

  • Books only can be borrowed once via the same account.  You can’t just return the lent book and then borrow it again over and over.
  • The owner of the book won’t be able to read a book while it is being borrowed by another user.

So, whether you want to take advantage of free e-books from a public library, or borrow a Kindle book from a friend, it’s nice to know you can still be learning on the go.  E-books are a great way to carry a ton of good books with you and yet still travel light.  For the trip I am currently on, I am away for 3 weeks and limited to nothing more than one carry-on sized suitcase and a day-pack.  So there really wasn’t really room for more than one hard copy book.  Which is why I am glad I have the Overdrive app and Kindle app on my iPad.  If I run out of reading material before my vacation ends… I might just ask my business partner, Janet, to lend me one of her Kindle books.

By Gillian Whitney

Communications Consultant

Launch4Life

gillian@launch4life.com