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Finding Free eBooks & eAudiobooks

What are eBooks & eAudiobooks?

eBooks and eAudiobooks are digital -- or electronic -- books and audiobooks. You read or listen to digital copies of a book on a home computer, laptop, tablet, mobile device, or eReader.

eBooks and eAudiobooks can be purchased, checked out from a library website, or downloaded for free on the internet. Many eBooks and eAudiobooks have Digital Rights Management (DRM) software built into the electronic file. This software is meant to prevent copying and sharing of the file by anyone other than the eBook or eAudiobook publisher. You may need to download additional software in order to read an eBook or listen to an eAudiobook because of the DRM attached to it.

Unlike paper books, eBooks and eAudiobooks with DRM cannot be lent to your friends, sold to a used bookstore, or donated to your local library.

What software is needed to use eBooks and eAudiobooks?

Applications (also called "apps") are available from many eBook and eAudiobook providers. Apps are available for home computers, tablets, mobile devices, and some eReaders. The following list includes a few of the major eBook and eAudiobook providers:

  • Overdrive Media ("Libby") provides eBooks & eAudiobooks for check out from the library via North Carolina Digital Library (library card required). The Libby app may be downloaded for free from Microsoft, the Google Play, and Apple stores.
  • Recorded Books provides the library with eAudiobooks (library card required), and their free RBDigital app is available for Android, iOS (Apple), and desktop computers -- scroll to bottom of webpage for links.
  • Amazon's Kindle. Amazon also offers the Kindle app for PC, Mac, Android, and iOS, free. NCDL ebooks may be borrowed in Kindle format. Go to: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/fd/kcp
  • Kobo
    Go to: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/p/apps
  • Barnes & Noble's Nook
    Go to: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/h/nook/apps
  • Apple's iBook App (for Apple devices only)
    Go to: https://www.apple.com/ibooks/

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