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You can now download over 300,000 books from the NYPL for free

New York Public Library Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
Photograph: Moira Brazier New York Public Library Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

There's good news for all the e-bookworms out there. The New York Public Library released an app today that allows anyone with a library card (and an iOS or Android phone) to "borrow" any of the 300,000 e-books in the collection.

It's called SimplyE and will allow you to read books on your phone, but beware, there might be a wait list for some popular titles, including the Game of Thrones series. (Check out the Harry Potter books, quick!) The online collection will continue to grow, and there are Kindle and web browser versions in development. But, for now, take a break from Pokemon Go and read to your digital heart's content.

h/t Daily News



Jason M

Are my books available? I did donate them to #NYPL

Ily H

@Jason M what kind of books you donated? ebook? I am not from the States and i love free books ^_^ hehe

Linda A

If anyone had looked into the download prior to commenting, they would have seen that the app states that you must have a current New York Public Library Card.  To be approved for a NYPL card "you must Live, work, attend school or pay property taxes in the state of New York."   This app is for New Yorkers, and New Yorkers ONLY and/or NY property owners.

Nyunt M

I read some of the under comments but I don't understand that the people who is not in NYC can't borrow from Library. I mean i am not in NYC now thus I haven't NYC Card. How shell I borrow those books? Please, give me advice.

Jay H

Do people not realize how public libraries work? This is published in a magazine about NEW YORK CITY and refers to the NEW YORK CITY public library. Why would you think you don't need a NEW YORK CITY library card? Of course you do. I live in NYC and I can't just go checking out eBooks from libraries in Saginaw or Memphis just because I have a local library card. Heck, I couldn't even check out eBooks from the public library in BROOKLYN unless I got a BROOKLYN library card. Because it is a different public system. Some of these comments are slightly ridiculous in their indignation. 

Lael C

Because it is being posted on people's feeds that do not live in NYC. Hence how I found it and I'm in Arizona. It is being circulated to make it look like anyone with a library card, in the country, can borrow books.

Linda A

@Lael C But, if you checked the app you would have seen that only people who live, work, attend school, or pay New York property taxes can apply for their library card.  So, you could live in any state you want as long as you also own and pay taxes on property in New York state.

mm M

@Jay H Do journalists not realize how writing works? That when you write "anyone with a library card", people might take that at face value because important information was left out?

Do *you* not realize how the *internet* works? That the link I followed on Facebook says "You can now download over 300,000 books from the NYPL for free". Why should I assume that I am not part of the you?

Keep your smugness to yourself and stop making excuses for misleading headlines and just plain bad writing.

Thomas S

@Jay H For $50/year (and I would pay twice that) you  CAN  get a Brooklyn Public Library Card and access to its truly wonderful ebook and audiobooks library.  Now if the NYC Library could be nearly as generous.

Thomas S

@Jay H you CAN get a Brooklyn Library card for an annual fee with access to all of its ebooks and audiobooks.  I would easily pay double.  Wish NYC LIBRARY OFFERED THIS

Scott K

@mm M @Jay H Within a few seconds of seeing the headline, I realized the story was about the NY Public Library, so "anyone with a library card" I took to mean a card for THAT LIBRARY. There has not been a grand linking of all library cards and systems across the nation. The article made sense to me. And it's an NYC edition of TimeOut. Our Chicago Public Library is fabulous but is not the NYPL, so I didn't think I was reading that I could download books from the NYPL.

Juliette S

@Harry P @Scott K @mm M @Jay H

In the immortal words of "the original" Felix Unger...'when you Assume, you make an Ass out of U and Me'. Never fails to crack me up!

Teri P

Darn. Wish they would allow PC users. My plan is low-cost on my phone so can't do it :(

Elizabeth L

If you have a smartphone you can connect to it over WiFi just like any other computer.

Kathryn K

the news here is that NYPL developed their own platform  not that they are all of a sudden offering e-books.

Kelly L

You can't use this unless you have a NYPL card, which you cannot get other than on a temporary basis if you live outside of NYC. Even if you get a temporary card, you have to pick it up in person and it is only valid for 3 months.

Susan S

This article is incorrect. It stated "anyone with a library card" The app only works for people that have a NYPL library card.

Renia D

Is there a webpage or app that will allow me to get a library card from outside of New York?

Denise G

Is this in Sydney,  Australia as well?

Jonathan U

and what is new here?  I've been borrowing e-books from NYPL for years!

Catalina P

I am the president of a BOOK CLUB  here in my country.  I consider this is a wonderful help !!! Thank you very much.

Khan G

I don't see any methods how to get it!

Ali R

How to get the list?


good day! 

how to download books from here?

Sal D

Can i get a libary card online and how

Dawn D

Sure..if you are in NY and have a NYPL library card, it may be great.  Not if you don't have one.

Thomas R

@Dawn D Do you expect the New York Public Library do pay for books that anyone in the world could read?

This news isn't exactly groundbreaking.  Many public libraries have had a service like this for many years.  A big handful of towns/cities up here in New Hampshire have shared this same service for at least six years, when I initially started using it.

Tomek C

But this time it's NYPL. It's a brand. It's like nobody writes about my neighbor wearing gray t-shirt despite he's wearing it the exact way Mark Zuckerberg does and for many more years :)

mm M

@Thomas R @Dawn D "Do you expect the New York Public Library do pay for books that anyone in the world could read?"

The article sure as hell makes it sound like that's exactly what they did.

elfpix F

Thanks for the link to the Library.  Great reporting - leaving it out of the article so we have to go hunt for it.

Khadijah G

Overdrive and 3M cloud library are wonderful apps for virtually borrowing