Meet Libby. Did you know your local library has thousands of ebooks and audiobooks? You can borrow them, instantly, for free, using just the device in your hand.
1. Fish out your library card
2. Open the Libby app
3. Find your local library
4. Search, sample, borrow, enjoy
It takes just a few taps to find and borrow a book. Libby has a ground-breaking built-in ebook reader, and a beautiful audiobook player. If you prefer, you can send books to your Kindle for reading.
• Sign in to multiple libraries, with one or more library cards
• Stay signed in for as long as you like
• Download books and audiobooks for offline reading, or stream them to save space
• Sample any book with a tap — nothing to download or delete
• Try a zoomable graphic novel, or a picture book with readalong audio
• All your holds and loans are consolidated on a single shelf
• Tag titles as read, loved, hated, wishlist, schoolbook, beach-reading, whatever you like
• Your loans, holds, reading positions, bookmarks and notes are synchronized automatically across all your devices
This release introduces some Very Nice Refinements:
* Support for Apple CarPlay — listen to audiobooks on your daily commute.
* Universal links. You can link to any view in the app with a URL like https://libbyapp.com/shelf/loans.
* We have richer support for all kinds of screen sizes and notches and cutouts and curlicues.
* Better handling for your Accessibility settings, including font sizing and smart color inversion (aka dark mode).
* A completely rebuilt approach to recovering from audio playback errors.
* Many minor UI improvements and bug fixes.
Ratings and Reviews
Used for a year now—fantastic with some minor quibbles
Pros: My reading has skyrocketed since using this app—Libby makes books so accessible, especially since I have a busy schedule and hard time stopping by the library. I have saved SO much money by using Libby, and have tried out more genres than I normally do, since you don’t waste a trip to the library getting a new book: simply tap to download and tap to return if you don’t like it. The waitlist system is very clear, browsing is easy, and a sizable catalog make this very much worth it.
Cons: Libby loses one star for some basic syncing and history issues. If I delete Libby off my device (sometimes I get rid of it when I’m busy and I don’t want to be tempted with a quick read!), when I redownload it, I lose all history of what books I’ve previously checked out and read. When you tag books, eg “To Read”, these tags are NOT synced across devices. I now have a motley “To Read” list spread across my phone and iPad. Likewise, these lists are lost if you remove the app off your local device. I’ve emailed Libby twice to request these be synced across devices and no luck yet.
Overall still a wonderful app and love how it makes reading yet more accessible. A TIP for readers—if practical, try to get multiple library cards for nearby areas. It opens up a larger catalog of books for you to read, and a waitlisted book in one library may be immediately available in another. :)
FREE ebooks & audiobooks w/a library card
If you don’t have a library card, go get one NOW! Find out where your closest public library is and go there pronto. OK, call first to ask what proof of residency they might need; they’ll probably say just 1-2 pieces of mail showing your name and address. Or maybe your library system has the application on their website. Download the Libby app and select your library from the list of library systems that appears, enter your library card barcode #, and you’re set! If you haven’t read an ebook before, go for it! You can modify background color, text size, font, and even HIGHLIGHT text or bookmark pages—then go to Reader Settings and scroll down to see all your bookmarks and highlighted passages. The app keeps your book settings so you can close and reopen the app as often as you want. (If you have any problems, just call the library helpdesk—that’s free, too!)
Your library may have other ebook apps besides Libby. But Libby is hands-down the best of the two i’m familiar with.
If you’re more of an audiobook fan, you can check those out, too, via the app. No more driving anywhere—you can check books out & return them in the app! All age groups, all genres. Mind blowing.
I’ve only browsed one ebook sample but have listened to several audiobooks and the interface is leaps and bounds better than Hoopla and OverDrive.
Cons: I’d give it a 5th star if the sleep timer for audiobooks had more than the 30 minute option (custom timer would be best along with 15 minute intervals up to an hour, then 30 minute intervals thereafter), the UI colors could be customized (at the least a dark mode, but I’d also like to change the blurred background color for audiobooks while in landscape mode), and I could customize my library card color tags/icons? (a minor gripe but two of my cards are too similar in color). I’m also not a fan of the settings menu but I can’t put my finger on why right now...
Pros: The book layout is great (Hoopla doesn’t even do landscape or two page mode🤬). As a whole, the Libby interface puts books at your fingertips quickly and offers a sleek & modern yet minimalist design that appeals to the eyes. The sort/refine/preferences works well although an ability to sort series by order in the series both ascending and descending is missing. The ability to sync Libby across multiple devices is FANTASTIC (again, looking at you Hoopla) and saves the hassle of logging in on each device and manually downloading each book (again, Hoopla, sup?). The audio/book sample feature (Hoopla comeon!) is conveniently placed, as is the book sample, review, and jacket information.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.