Searching the Kindle Owners Lending Library

The Amazon announcement of a Kindle Owners’ Lending Library is pretty awesome. If you have Amazon Prime and a hardware Kindle device, you can borrow one book a month (from the current list of available books), and keep it out as long as you want…for free! (well, as a perk included in the $79/year Prime sub. But still, a very good deal.)

But this begs raises the question; how to find a book you’d like? Do you have to tap around the interface on your Kindle, a click at a time? Are you stuck looking at the “most popular” list, because you can’t bear spending 10 minutes just to dig down further in the stack?

Nope.

It’s very possible Amazon will update/fix this (and I hope they do, putting this post out of business), but as of today, the way to search the lending list isn’t exactly intuitive. But the necessary info is there. A lendable book is identified by two attributes; it is “Prime eligible”, and its format is “Kindle Edition”.

Armed with this info, you can search from the Book Advanced Search page. Currently this works for me: http://www.amazon.com/Advanced-Search-Books/b/ref=sv_b_0?ie=UTF8&node=241582011 You can also get there by going to the main amazon.com page, choosing “Books” from the left-hand list of categories, and then choosing “Books” again (not “Kindle Books”) from the popup list. Then choose “Advanced Search” from the bar near the top of the screen.

Once you’re on the advanced search page, you can choose whatever search type you’d like: by author, publisher, or keywords…whatever you’d like. But once you’ve chosen your search criteria, make sure you choose “Kindle Edition” from the “Format” dropdown list. Then hit Search; that’s step 1 of 2.

Since you can’t currently limit searches to “Prime Eligible” directly from the Advanced Search page, you’ve got one more hoop. Once the search list comes up, scroll down the page until the “Amazon Prime — Prime Eligible” checkbox appears on the left hand side (it should be somewhere among the various other search criteria refinements). If you don’t see it at all, then the query you submitted resulted in no books that are in the lending library.

If you do see the “Amazon Prime — Prime Eligible” checkbox, check it. The book list will refresh, and the remaining books should all be available under the lending program!

Example: if I search for “physics” as a keyword on the Advanced Search page, and follow the instructions, I end up with (again, today) with this list of 6 books. A couple of these look pretty good!

Hope this helps. If you just want to click around and search the lending library on your computer, you can get to the entire list from the base Amazon page: http://amzn.to/kprimebooks (thanks to Andrys Basten for that link, plus the initial info that allowed me to track down the search attributes!)

  • Anonymous

    >But this begs the question; how to find a book you’d like? 

    “To beg the question does not mean “to raise the question.” (e.g. “It begs the question, why is he so dumb?”) This is a common error of usage made by those who mistake the word “question” in the phrase to refer to a literal question. Sadly, the error has grown more and more common with time, such that even journalists, advertisers, and major mass media entities have fallen prey to “BTQ Abuse.”

    Read more: http://begthequestion.info/

  • http://kenzoid.com Ken Kennedy

    **sigh** Point taken; thanks for sharing. I hope you found the post useful!

  • Lee Ragans

    Ken’s lack of propper use of the English Language aside, the thing this whole lending library means to me is how does this impact the authors?  Now I know what you are tinking, “We have always had libraries and borrowed books.  We don’t buy every copy we read.  Authors are used to it.”  There is a key word here, libraries.  Plural.  With the Amazon Kindle book lending.  There is only one library, Amazon.  Now I may be missing the particulars and I am ready to admit my ignorance on the details, but it does bother me that it is one central location.  Maybe I am off base.  And I am sure I made server gramatical and syntax errors.  Please forgive me, I got my Computer Science degree from a 3rd tier university, and never paid attention in my English classes.

  • Lburtle

    Thank you!  Trying to figure out how to search for a lending library book has been driving me crazy!

  • Raven

    I’m so glad I found this! Thanks for sharing.