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How to loan a Kindle book

Author Donalyn Miller said, "You are not done with a book until you pass it to another reader." Here's how to share your e-books with family and friends.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
Reviewed by Alyson Windsor
The all-new 2022 Kindle sitting atop a paperback book on a wooden table
Image: Allison Murray/ZDNET

Though I never considered myself a bibliophile as a young adult, when I got my first Kindle years ago, I found myself unable to put it down. 

A Kindle is a great way to carry all your books in one single package. A handy device that is lighter than a tablet and relatively inexpensive, the Kindle makes it easy to buy, borrow, and keep your books safe. 

How to share or loan a Kindle book

There are two simple ways to share a Kindle book: by loaning it to someone else or by sharing it through your family library. We'll cover both options, so you can choose which suits your needs.

Other ways to get the most out of your Kindle:

Loaning a Kindle book

There are some books that you can loan to other users after you've purchased them. Unfortunately, many don't support loaning. The publisher sets the loaning conditions for their books, so the loan term varies -- but is often about 14 days.  If the book isn't accepted as a loan within seven days, it will be returned to you.

Step 1: Go to your Amazon account

Use either the mobile app or a web browser to log into your Amazon account, then access your account settings by clicking on Account & Lists on the top right of the page.

Screenshot of webpage with the Account & Lists option

Log in then click on Account & Lists

Image: Maria Diaz / ZDNet

Step 2: Click on Content & Devices

Go into Content & Devices on Amazon; this will give you access to the settings of your purchased devices and content like books, apps, video, and music. 

Screenshot of webpage with the option to click on Content & Devices

Click on Content & Devices

Image: Maria Diaz / ZDNet

Step 3: Select Books

Select Books out of your available content. This will bring up a list of your purchased and borrowed books. 

Screenshot of webpage with option to choose books

Choose Books

Image: Maria Diaz / ZDNet

Step 4: Find the book you want to share and click on More actions

The list of your purchased books features the options for each one to the right of the page. Clicking on More actions shows the options on a dropdown menu.

Screenshot of webpage with the option to click on More actions

Click on More actions

Image: Maria Diaz / ZDNet

Step 5: If your book can be loaned, click on Loan this title

On the More actions menu, click on Loan this title to lend it to someone else. Next, you'll be prompted to fill out a form with the recipient's information:

Screenshot of webpage with the option to click on Loan this title

Click on Loan this title

Image: Maria Diaz / ZDNet

Next, you'll be taken to a form where you can enter your lending details for the recipient's email address, name, who it came from and a personal message. 

Screenshot of webpage with the details for a book loan

Fill out the form for the loan

Image: Maria Diaz / ZDNet

Not all books can be loaned, so if yours doesn't have the Loan this title option, there's the option to try sharing it through your family library. 

Sharing with Family Library

An alternate option to share a book is doing it through the Family Library. This can be done in the same actions menu that you reach by following steps 1-4 above. 

Step 6: Under More actions, click Manage Family Library

If there is no Loan this title option on the More actions dropdown menu, click on Manage Family Library instead.

Screenshot of webpage with the option to choose Manage Family Library

Instead of selecting Loan this title, choose Manage Family Library

Image: Maria Diaz / ZDNet

Step 7: Select someone to share the book

Your family library includes the members of your Amazon household. 

Screenshot of webpage with the option to add someone to your family library to give them access to the book

Select someone to your family library to give them access to the book

Image: Maria Diaz / ZDNet

When you select someone to share the book with, click on the yellow Make Changes button to share the book with them. You can add or remove books from your family library at any time.

Screenshot of webpage with the option to click Make Changes to confirm

Click Make Changes to confirm

Image: Maria Diaz / ZDNet


How many devices can share a Kindle book?

A Kindle book can only be shared one time. This means that after the book is returned to your library in 14 days, you won't be able to share it again with anyone else. 

Also: How to turn your old electronics into Amazon gift cards

However, one book can be read on several devices at once, as long as you're logged into those devices with your Amazon account through the Kindle app. So you can pause reading a book on your Kindle and pick it back up from the Kindle app on your iPad, for example.

Can I share a book from my Kindle directly?

Loaning is not available on the Kindle settings, but you can view and manage your family library right on your Kindle device. Here's how:

  1. From the Kindle homepage, tap on the menu button (the three buttons on the top right corner)
  2. Select Settings
  3. Tap on Household & Family Library
  4. Choose which account to manage

What is Amazon's Household and Family Sharing?

Amazon Household lets users share some of their Prime benefits with their family members, including one other adult, up to four teens and up to four children. This lets other people use Prime benefits with their own account without having to pay for separate subscriptions. 

You can share ebooks with other members of your household and add or remove people by going to your Amazon account and clicking on Manage your household

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