You may have already seen that Penguin is going to stop the windowing of library book titles. That’s a good thing, and I applaud the decision. I’d be more excited if my library was part of the 3M system, and if Penguin wasn’t having books “expire” and require a repurchase every year, but some library books is better than none, I guess.

What’s going to be interesting to watch is how the merger of Random and Penguin handle library books. Right now the two companies have completely different policies and pricing, and Random House is in Overdrive, where Penguin isn’t. We’ll keep you posted.

For now though, backlist Penguin titles are available in Overdrive, but many patrons are disappointed to see that they are transferable by USB only.

That’s annoying but manageable if you own a Kindle device and can do the USB transfer. But what about those of us who read on devices other than Kindles? Does that mean we can’t read books on those devices?

Well, yes and no. There’s a workaround, which I discovered through the KindleKorner Yahoo group. You do need to have an actual Kindle registered to your account for this to work, however.

Go ahead and check out your book and go through the process of selecting a Kindle and downloading the book file.

You may now ignore or delete that file. While you can’t use the “Manage Your Kindle” page to send the file to another device, you can open up a Kindle app or your library on your Kindle and download the book. It will show up in your Cloud, as you can see in the screenshot from my iPhone.

It’s hardly perfect or as convenient as books from other publishers, but it does work and allow you to get your book on other devices and take advantage of Whispersync.

Now if all the publishers would just agree on uniform pricing and terms, that would be a real step forward.


  1. This cloud method of getting a Kindle book works with Kindle apps but not an actual Kindle. I get a red exclamation point on my Penguin book that prevents this on my Kindle Fire.

    Anyway, I think you misunderstood the “USB only” message. It’s only the Kindle format of Penguin eBooks that requires a USB transfer, not EPUB.

    So get the OverDrive Media Console app on your iPhone and download EPUB, or read in a browser window with OverDrive Read. Also works on Kindle Fires, any iOS or Android.

  2. @Starbookzz, no I didn’t misunderstand. I’m well aware it only applies to the Kindle version, not Epub. However, some readers prefer to check out books in Kindle format, and I wanted to let them know it’s possible to get them into the Kindle app as well as their actual Kindles. And that they don’t have to USB them to their Kindles if they don’t want to.

The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail