The Libby App Revolutionizes The Way You Read Books (And It’s Free!)

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“Hold on, let me check if that’s on Libby.”

The other night, my partner and I headed to Barnes & Noble for a date night. While the concept seemed cute and romantic – the two of us walking hand in hand down the aisles of books – I spent the entire time checking to see if the books we found were on Libby.

I do want to say that I support local bookstores and nothing will ever replace the smell or feel of books. But I’m also constantly on the go and I love always having easy access to the most popular titles. That’s why the Libby app is my favorite thing ever. 

I got the app years ago. I was an English major and usually had to read about three books a week. The app let me listen to audiobooks while I went about my daily life. Ever since I graduated, I’ve used the app to download the most buzzed about books without paying a cent.


What is Libby?

I think of Libby as a free Audible. You simply connect your library card (I have mine and my mom’s on there) and you can download any book that they have online! While some titles may not be available and others might take a little longer to get to you, it’s honestly so worth it. There’s no catch and no purchase necessary – just you and an endless supply of books. 



What are you waiting for!? Free books and an abundance of resources! Did you know you can get an Instant Digital Card in Libby? #libbytok #booktok

♬ happier than ever billie eilish – 𖤐☠︎𖤐

Libby gives you the option to either download an e-book or an audiobook. Most titles have both options, but some only have one. Libby lets you have six holds and six loans per card. Because my app has two cards on it, I constantly have twelve books on hold. I’m about to add another card and I believe I will truly hold the power of the world then. 

If you choose the audiobook route, you can speed up or slow down the speed that your book is read out loud. I personally speed it up x2.25 because I’m a little crazy, but it’s totally your call! The e-books give you the option to read with either your Kindle app or your Libby app (and, yes, downloaded Libby books can be transferred to your Kindle!). You can adjust the text scale, color scheme (I like sepia), and text.

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Why Not a Library?

I did wrestle with this a little when I started opting for Libby audiobooks rather than borrowing from my local library. I know that bookstores and libraries aren’t getting the love they have in the past and a lot of them are going out of business. So, I treat Libby as my sample plate. If there’s a book I’ve been hearing about and want to read, I’ll check it out on Libby. If I listen to it and I fall in love, I’ll pop into a local bookstore and buy the real book so I can read it again. I’ve done this with The House in the Cerulean Sea, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, and Untamed. 

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But the upside to borrowing books on your phone is that you don’t have to drive anywhere to return them! I also don’t feel bad when I start a book, take a break, and don’t really get back into it. No money was lost, no time spent, and I don’t even need to go to the library. It all just happens on my phone!


Yes, I am Libby’s biggest fan, but I still have a few complaints. I don’t know what is up with my hometown library, but I used to keep books for months. You can’t do that with Libby. They will rip your precious books from your hands when they’re due. The time to keep books is often two weeks, but sometimes it’s only seven days.

One other thing I don’t love is the selection of books. I don’t know how audiobooks work and I understand that it’s a library system, but sometimes the waits for some books are too long (I’m looking at you, Malibu Rising) and sometimes they don’t have the books I want. When a book I want doesn’t pop up on Libby, I do go to my library or bookstore and grab it.

Things I Adore

If you can’t tell, I recommend Libby to everyone I know. One thing I love is their delivery policy. While it might take a while for the books to come in, if too many come in at once, you can schedule them to be delivered after a certain date. I try to space my book deliveries out so I never have too many books on my ‘shelf’. 

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The audiobook quality is also perfection. I’ve listened to some audiobooks on YouTube that were free and the difference in quality is insane. I have never not loved Libby’s audiobook actors. I also assume that it’s the authentic audiobook that you would buy on audible or in a store. 

Also, while Libby doesn’t have every title known to man, they do have the most popular picks. There are also multiple copies and editions of the classics, nearly all the ‘popular’ books, and books that I didn’t even know existed. Currently, there are 7,126 available audiobooks and 33,590 available e-books.

So, What Are You Waiting For?

 If you haven’t paused this article and downloaded Libby, what are you doing? This app is a life saver for me and one of the few things I cannot go a day without using. It’s so nice to have your favorite books within reach at any time and it’s even better that they’re all free! Go check out Libby — I promise you’ll thank us!


What’s the first book you’re going to download on Libby? Have any reading suggestions? Comment below!

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