How to Extend the Due Date of Your Library eBook on the Kindle

Kindle 3Just a friendly tip from your friendly online librarian. 🙂

It is pretty easy to “extend” the due date of the library ebook you check out to your kindle, just turn your wireless connection off until you’re done with it. This will allow you to keep reading the book until you’re done. The title won’t expire until you reactivate your wireless connection.

Can’t remember to turn your wireless off or just don’t want to keep it off all the time? Consider that handy email notice telling you that you have three days left that you get from Amazon (not your local library), you know the one that includes a link to buy it from Amazon, the signal to turn your wireless off if you aren’t done reading the book. When you’re done, turn your wireless connection back and on the book will “expire” as usual.

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Categories: eBooks

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36 replies »

  1. I’m not all that familiar with ebook loans—does this not prevent other users from getting the book? If so, although it’s a handy trick, it seems like something that could cause a lot of problems for those on the wait list.


  2. Of course, those of us who work in libraries with OverDrive contracts can’t really espouse this, because we would be encouraging patrons to break the terms of service we agreed to uphold. In the same way, we tell patrons to erase the CDs or MP3 player when their audiobook expires, even though the technology won’t actually do it for them and we can’t make them do it. It basically means that two patrons can have the same book at the same time, which violates the current terms. We may not like the terms, but we signed the contract and are bound by those terms.


  3. This works for the Nooks as well. I discovered this by accident when I had left my Nook in airplane mode and was able to read it three days after it expired. Make sure to charge your device before shutting off the wireless though, as it will expire when the battery dies.


  4. Hey, Bobbi, I’ve got a question for you…

    I have a Kindle 2 (3G), so I would have to download/upload the file from Amazon for my ebook (via Overdrive). I haven’t done this yet, but how would Amazon remove it from my device if it didn’t originally download wirelessly?


  5. I’m having a hard time seeing how this is much different from simply pirating the book outright. Is the moral high ground that you give it back eventually, on your own terms instead of the lender’s terms? It seems iffy.


    • While I appreciate the attempt to arbitrarily vilify me by equating taking advantage of one of the perks of digital content with pirating I feel obligated to point out how pirating works (without passing judgement on the why or who people pirate content).
      When pirating a title you usually visit a torrent site, search for a title that someone else stripped the DRM from and uploaded to the site. This title was not purchased or licensed for distribution but rather by an individual for an individual. You then download that title to your device of choice and read it. Either deleting it when you’re done or keeping it forever.
      Now let me explain how checking out a library book works. The library bought or licensed a book for their patrons to use. You go to the library site, find a book, check it out, turn the wifi on on your Kindle and the item downloads. If you’re like me, you turn your wifi back off to save the battery. When you turn the wifi back on, if the item is past due it expires. There is no way to keep it past the due date unless you never turn your device back on. You can’t keep it forever. Also the library paid for this item for your enjoy. Anyone who works in a library can tell you that people return items late to the library regularly.

      It is not illegal. It the way the device works. There is nothing villainous about this.


      • So you’re saying “one of the perks of digital content” is that you can bypass the restrictions placed on it and keep the book as long as you’d like?

        OK, so one of the perks of having a computer with an internet connection is being able to find streaming videos of pirated feature films online (without visiting a torrent site). Sure, it’s the way “the device” (a computer) works, but we choose not to take advantage of this perk because doing so would probably be considered piracy by most standards, even though we get rid of the movie immediately upon closing the browser. We don’t have a copy anymore, but we certainly consumed the content illegitimately.

        I find it odd that a librarian would condone using a device to cheat a system they are involved in maintaining and improving.


        • Bobby

          You are making a huge leap. One of the perks of having a computer with Internet access is NOT streaming pirated movies. One has to go out of their way to track down and find pirated movies. Pirated movies are illegal.

          If you turn off the wifi on your Kindle the books stays on it. Period. it requires no extra effort by the user. The content being accessed is not illegal.

          Also librarians are not involved in maintaining nor are they invited to improve upon the current ebooks system. The way ebooks files work, DRM, and how libraries are allowed to use them was decided for us, without any input from us or our public, by publishers, OverDrive and in this case, Amazon.

          PS I check IP addresses and I find it odd that you’re commenting as if you’re the Average Joe when I can see you’re at a large international “entertainment content company”

          Liked by 1 person

      • First of all, I apologize for “vilifying” you. It’s a fine line between asking a serious question and lobbing you a softball. I think it’s something that’s worth thinking about, at the very least. What you’re suggesting seems very much like it is circumventing the ebook’s DRM (though, of course, not outright stripping it).


        • Daniel
          I appreciate your perspective. However I do disagree. If I never wrote this post this functionality would still be there. It is part of the set up of library ebooks on Kindles, so it would still be happening. It could be happening right now on devices all over the country without the owner being aware of it. It is not circumventing the system. It is the system.

          I am also in no way suggesting that one keep a borrowed ebook indefinitely.


  6. I find it interesting that the ebook won’t expire if wifi is off, but as noted in Samantha’s comment thread, it will still expire on a 3G Kindle with no wifi.

    I would be concerned if the title was not being released for the next patron at expiration of checkout, but it sounds like the system will queue the file up as available? I don’t see any harm in this – it isn’t piracy, and the only way a patron will get their next book is to reconnect to ADE or wifi, which will expire the title. I definitely don’t see this being listed as FAQs in the library, but good information to have.


    • I agree Krisiti I wouldn’t recommend that libraries add this to their FAQs pages or anything like that but it’s good to understand how it works 🙂

      Also I’m not sure what Samantha us referng to in her comment, it’s not clear, but I don’t think it will expire.


      • I noticed this by accident when I returned a library book before I had finished it but it was still on my Kindle. I realized that I had not turned off my airplane mode on my Kindle DX (3G). Now I am finding that quite a few of the books I check out must be downloaded to my computer BEFORE transferring to my Kindle. It seems they do not disappear from my computer nor from my Kindle unless I turn off the airplane mode. I only read the books and am satisfied to return them once i am finished. One of the problems I have run across is not having enough time to read the books as they come in on reserve. I typically have the problem of everything coming in at once (just like regular books). Don’t have enough time in the day to read so many at one time, so I appreciate the extra time in some instances.


  7. I’m surprised to find the comments I did here. How many of us have failed to return a print library book on time? I realize this metaphor isn’t perfect as no one else can use the item, but it’s not a technical issue most of the commenters are having issue with. (However some have made a bigger leap.) I would argue what Bobbi is talking about is exactly like failing to return a book (by the due date or worse once it’s been recalled) until you finish the book. At least in the digital world, you’re not keeping someone else from using it.


  8. I had the opposite happen to me. I have a Nook and rarely turn on the wifi. Most of the books I read are from my library and on,y require connection to the PC. Anyway in the middle of reading an eBook from Overdrive, I turned off the Nook. When I turned it on about an hour later, the eBook had disappeared. That is when I discovered that it was the last day of the rental. I had never had that happen before as I usually read my eBooks quickly.


    • Jo, I have NT and only do library books (broke after buying the NT!). I have also been searching for ways to keep the 1000+book on Nook Tablet past the 14 days because I dont know anybody who could read a 1000+book in 14 days while doing normal things like driving school and sleeping (although sleep comes in second when I have a good book at hand). I was told by the librarian (yes at the public library locally) to simply NOT hook my Nook tablet to the PC after the 14 day deadline is up. Havent had to try it yet. Have not turned of wifi either but will take that precaution if close to deadline date. One last question – by “turning off nook” did you mean you put it to sleep or did you actually turn it off with power button and answer “yes” to the query of “do you want to turn off nook” that my NT asks before I fully power down NT.


  9. I think it’s a legitimate concern to publishers that audiobooks and digital books could be borrowed indefinitely “for free.”

    However, if after my library’s 9-day lending period passes, I still haven’t finished listening to my 21-hour-long novel or 450 page-equivalent Kindle, I’ve no problem listening until I finish the audiobook before deleting it or turning my Kindle’s wi-fi off either. (I always delete borrowed materials – I’m not about to listen to a daylong book or reread a monster novel anytime soon and I need the room.)

    Does that make me evil? If so, I must be the wimpiest of all evildoers.


  10. Interesting concept! Let me see if I am following the logic here. So I am the librarian and I have a Kindle title in my collection that I have purchased access to 10 copies.

    Next I encourage my patrons to ignore the 14-day checkout limit if they are not done with the title and keep it as long as they like on their Kindle, just don’t turn their wifi on.

    And so because the process of terminating the loan and the removing the file from the device is separate, the library can actually get more access to the title than what they have purchased. Is that about right?


    • Sorry James I think you missed a couple of things. This post says nothing about libraries buying or lending the Kindles themselves, in fact I would strongly recommend that libraries NOT do that. This post is general advice for people (individuals, not libraries) who own kindles, of which I am one.


  11. Actually I didn’t reference devices at all. I am referring to your comments about tricking the system so they can circumvent the rules of the access of titles.

    You know “It is pretty easy to “extend” the due date of the library ebook you check out to your kindle, just turn your wireless connection off until you’re done with it.”

    Overdrive and publishers are allowing your patrons access to a selected number of copies with a maximum about of time checkout allotted. With your approach you could conservable have 20 copies out at a time with 10 access copies paid for.


    • James,
      I’m not sure why you’re so keen on vilifying me (and by extension libraries) you’re making huge leaps with your comments. As I’ve pointed out before, this would happen even if I had never written this post. It is happening right now on millions of devices across the country owned by people who have no idea that it is happening.


    • I don’t see any reference to or endorsement by a library on this blog. Seems to me that Bobbi is just another bibliophile telling her online friends about a neat trick she discovered on her kindle.

      Do you know what’s really wrong? Publishers treating eBooks like paper books, price-wise, but then essentially reposessing them from a library after a specified number of checkouts; preventing an eBook owner from selling/lending eBooks without limit, like she could a paper book; and selling out to one vendor, excluding other device owners from being able to read their books…shall I continue

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I do this but feel guilty, because we are breaking the publisher agreement with library. is this ethically right according to copyright?


  13. More importantly: how unethical is it? What penalties – if any – would be appropriate? If the Kindle could monitor its database and charge us overdue fines, would that be enough?

    Now if someone were amassing a hundred Kindle library books on their device and then going permanently off-the-net and hiding in a cave in New Mexico, we’d have no choice but to send up the Predators and put Seal Team Six on standby.

    Fortunately, everyone eventually turns their Kindle wifi on. Usually a day or two later.


  14. I figured. To do this my first library checkout. I was reading the book but just needed a little extra time. My experience is that my wireless I swear got turned on automatically. I know it was off and I nor anyone else turned it on. I purposefully kept it off to finish the book. I also leave it off to avoid Amazon from archiving books I don’t want archived. The book was removed immediately. Does anyone know if Amazon or other entities can turn your wifi on your kindle. Don’t laugh. I have an older kindle and a kindle fire. The kindle fire is on. I also have the pc kindle and wifi is on there as well.


  15. If all I had to do was sit down and read books for hours a day this would not be a problem! But like others have said sometimes it takes me 3 or four weeks to finish a book. Now until I found this info I was just simply going back and re checking out the book. On one book i literally had to re-check out the book like 6 times. I also do this with my audio books that I read to and from work sometimes it takes several weeks to finish one. I have no problem with this tip and at least my wife won’t laugh at me for taking so long to read a book that I have to re-borrow it several times!


  16. Goodness, my library only lends for 7 days with e-books and something like 14 days with print. I have yet to complete a book in 7 days when I’m working full-time. People get on the waiting list, and I can’t finish my book without waiting for their loan to expire! I searched for a solution to this and found this post. I thought turning off WiFi would work, but I hadn’t successfully accomplished turning it off in time. Thank you for the post… I don’t see that this is amoral at all. If the library would increase the lending period, or even offer a chance to renew for a small fine (but THAT would keep the next person waiting even longer), I wouldn’t even be looking for a loophole. Now I’m even more inclined to maintain my library membership so I can have online e-book access.


  17. I noticed that a couple times when I turned my WiFi back on, the books still didn’t disappear! Most of the time they do, but I wonder why sometimes they don’t. It would be nice to know so that I could put new titles on it without erasing old ones I haven’t finished.

    (I know that is really pushing it, but I generally am borrowing books I already own physical copies of. I just prefer to read on kindle but don’t really want to support amazon by buying their ebooks. I’d be happy to buy some ebooks from BN if their devices were also compatible with overdrive but trying to work that out has been a nightmare).


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