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Sharing books with your family was quite easy in the past. All you had to do was hand it over to them! But, with the adoption of eReaders and ebooks, although it has made it easier to carry hundreds of books with us, sharing a book with others seems to be a bit difficult!
This is where the Kindle’s feature to share books with your family comes in handy!
To share books in your library with your family members, you need to create an Amazon Household account. You can share books with up to 9 additional members (1 adult, 4 teens, 4 children). Once the members have been added, they can read the book on their own devices independently.
But how exactly does the family sharing work, and how to enable it? In this article, I’ll share with you everything that you need to know about sharing books with your family (and friends). We’ll understand the process in a step-by-step manner!
So, let’s get started!
Note – if you want to skip reading this article, simply click open the Amazon Family Library sign-up page on Amazon, and create an account!
How Does Family Sharing Work on Kindle?
Amazon provides you with the feature to share books with your family members. But, not a lot of people are aware of it partly because the process is a bit cumbersome at first.
More than the process, you also need to know who you can add and what you can share! Then there is the feature to lend books to your friends which works differently from sharing books with your family members! All of this adds to the confusion.
To share your Kindle books with your family members, you will first need to set up the Amazon Household. You can add 1 adult, up to 4 teens, and 4 children to your household.
This is a way to tell Amazon more about your family members and who you intend to share your books with.
Pro-Tip: Save Money on Kindle Books by Changing Your Kindle Store Country!
Once you have the Amazon Household account set up, you can start sharing books with your family members. But, we’ll get to the exact process in a minute.
The teens (13 years to 17 years of age) that you add need to have an Amazon account. You can create a Kindle account for them if they don’t have it. On the contrary, the child profile (up to 12 years of age) that you create doesn’t need an associated Amazon account. (Check out my other article on “How to Create a Kindle Child Account”)
When adding an adult, although not necessary, it is recommended to add your spouse. Amazon doesn’t specify what adult should it be. But, adding your spouse would put you in the best position to take full advantage of your household account.
If you want to share books with other family members, it is best to lend a book to them instead of sharing it with them through the Kindle family library.
How to Setup the Kindle Family Library and Share Books?
Now let’s try and understand the exact process involved in setting up book sharing through the Kindle family library.
There are actually a couple of different methods that you can use to do the same. Let’s take a look at both the methods –
Method 1 – Using the Amazon Website
The first method requires using a web browser, logging in to your Amazon account, and setting up an Amazon Household. Once that’s done, you can share the book.
Here’s what you need to do –
Step 1 – Create an Amazon Household
The first step is to create an Amazon household. First, visit the Amazon household dashboard. You may be prompted to log in to your Amazon account first. If so, enter your login credentials.
Click on the “Add Adult” option to add an adult to the household. You can also choose to “Add a Child” instead.
Step 2 – Enter the details of your spouse
In the next screen, you will be prompted to add the name and email address of your spouse (or the adult) that you are trying to add.
Click “Continue” to move ahead in the process.
Step 3 – Sent the Invite
In the next step, verify whether the information provided is correct. Then, click on the “Send Invite” option.
Step 4 – Click on “Agree and continue”
Amazon will now request you to share the wallet in order to share digital content. Simply click on “Agree and Continue” to proceed to the next step.
Step 5 – Enable Sharing Options
Now, you will need to inform Amazon what you intend to share with your family members. Don’t worry, you can make changes to these settings even after the account has been set up.
For now, make sure that at least the “eBooks” option is enabled. Then, click “Continue“.
Step 6 – Adult Added to the Household
As a next step, you will be taken to the Amazon Household dashboard. Here, you will notice that an invitation has been sent to your spouse and he or she will have about 14 days to accept the invitation.
You can also scroll down and add a child profile or a teen profile to your household in a similar manner.
Step 7 – Open the “Content & Devices” option
Now let’s understand how to share a book once you’ve added a family member to your Amazon household.
Hover over your “Account Name” on the top of the site. A dropdown menu will appear with multiple options. Simply click on the “Content & Devices” option.
Step 8 – Click on “More Actions”
Now, you will be taken to your Amazon library containing all the books that you have purchased.
First, make sure that you are present on the “Content” tab on the top. Next, locate the book that you want to share and click on “More Actions“. For some users, it may be represented as three dots (…). Click on it.
From the menu that appears, click on the “Manage Family Library” option.
Step 9 – Share with Family Member
In the final step, select the family member you want to share the book with, and click on “Make Changes“.
The book will now be shared with your family member. If the book is not visible in their library, make sure that they sync their account once again.
Method 2 – Using a Kindle Device
You can also share books with your family member using your Kindle device. And no, you don’t need to give away your Kindle device to them in order to share your books. There is an easier way to share books using your Kindle.
Here’s how to share your Kindle books using your Kindle device –
- Open the settings option on your Kindle device
- Click on the “Household and Family Sharing” option
- Click on the “Add Person” option at the bottom of the screen
- Choose to add either an adult or a child
- Enter the name and email address of the adult (name and date of birth for a child)
- Click on the “Accept and Continue” option for payment and wallet sharing
- Begin sharing the books.
The person that you’ve added will receive an email invite that he or she needs to accept first. Only after that, you will be able to share the books with them.
To manage the sharing of books on your Kindle device, go back to the “Household and Family” sharing options, click on the profile name of the other family member, and select the books that you would like to add to their library.
For a child profile, you will be prompted to set up a “Parental Control Password” as your child will be accessing the books only through your device. To learn more about the child profile, check out my other article on Kindle Child Profile: Everything You Need to Know!
How to Access the Kindle Family Library?
In case you want to check what books you’ve shared with your family members, you can view the “Family Library”.
To access the kindle family library, open the “Content & Devices” options after logging into your Amazon account on a computer. Then, next to the search bar, click on the “Show Family Library” option, and you will be able to see all the books that you have shared with your family.
Here’s a step by step explanation of the above process with images –
Step 1 – Open the “Content & Devices” option
As we did before, hover over your account name until a dropdown appears. Then, click on the “Content & Devices” option. Sometimes, you may see this as the “Manage Your Content & Devices” option.
Step 2 – Click on the “Show Family Library” option
Now, on the next screen, make sure that you are on the “Content” tab. Then, click on the “Show Family Library” option.
Step 3 – View all the shared books
The next screen will show all the books that you have shared with your family members. You will see a “person icon” next to the book that you have shared.
How to Stop Sharing Books with a Family Member?
Amazon allows you to stop sharing the books that you are currently sharing with your family members. It is just as easy as sharing a book.
To stop sharing a book with your family, go to the “Content & Devices” option after logging into your Amazon account. Click on the “Show Family Library” option. Select the book that you would like to stop sharing. Click on “More Action”, select “Manage Family Library”, and uncheck the profile.
The process to stop sharing works just the same way as that of sharing the book that I’ve indicated earlier in the article.
If you have already shared the book with a family member, you will see a checkmark next to the name of the family member’s profile. Simply, uncheck the box next to the profile name to stop sharing the book with your family member and remove it from their library.
Can You Remove an Adult from Amazon Household Account?
It is entirely possible that may have perhaps added another family member as an adult (such as your father or an uncle) to share content as part of your family library.
But, circumstances may change in your life. You may get married and now have a spouse. And, you may want to add your spouse to your household account. In such a scenario, you may be wondering whether you can remove an adult from your Amazon household account.
You can remove an adult from your Amazon Household account. However, you will not be able to add another adult to your Amazon Household account for the next 180 days. Furthermore, all content shared between the two adult accounts will also be returned to the original account library.
To remove an adult from your Amazon Household account, simply log in to your Amazon Household dashboard. Then, click on the “Remove” option under your family member’s profile. On the next screen, click on the “Remove Adult” option.
The adult will thus be removed from your account.
Likewise, you can also remove the teen profile or the child profile from your Amazon household account.
Can You Share Kindle Books with Non-Family Members?
Sharing Kindle books with your other family members (apart from your spouse and kids added to your Amazon Household account) or friends works slightly differently.
In order to share your Kindle books with your other family members and friends, you will have to lend the books to them. Lending (or loaning) a book allows your friend 14 days to read a book after which the book gets returned to your library.
A few other things that you should know about lending your Kindle book to your other family members and friends are as follows –
- You can only loan a Kindle book once ever. So, be careful who you loan a book to.
- You will not be able to access the book when it has been loaned to others until either 14 days are over or if your friend returns the book earlier.
Another thing that you could do is gift your Kindle books to others. Although this method is not straightforward, but it is something that could work if you really love someone a lot!
I shall cover the topic of lending a book to your friends in complete detail in another article. I will leave a link to the article once it is published.
What to Do When Kindle Family Library is Not Sharing Books?
Although sharing books using the Kindle family library is a great way to provide access to the books that you own to others, sometimes you may come across errors that prevent sharing the books.
For instance, you may not be able to add books to the library. Or, perhaps you may be sharing Kindle books with your spouse, but your spouse may not be able to access them on their device!
There are multiple issues like these that can happen due to the cumbersome nature of the process and the flexibility of control provided by Amazon.
Fortunately, I’ve captured some of the most common issues that you may face when sharing books with your family member. I’ve provided possible solutions that can help fix these issues as well. Make sure you check out my other article – Kindle Family Library Not Working? Here’s What To Do!
You can also consider transferring Kindle books. That said, I’d highly encourage you to first try and fix the issues with the Kindle family library as this is easier to work with than transferring Kindle books from one account to another!
Does Kindle Family Library Sharing Work Differently for Different Countries?
You may be wondering how to carry out the process of sharing your books with the family library if you are in the UK? And, whether the process is different if you are in the USA or any other country.
The process of sharing books as part of the Kindle family library works just the same across most countries. Certain options may have a similar sounding but different field name. However, the overall process is mostly the same.
Credit to felipepelaquim from Pexels for the featured image of this article.
About the Author
Akansha is a former business journalist and a seasoned communications professional. She is the founder of TheBookBuff, an avid storyteller, and a lifelong biblophile! Check out her profile page to know more about Akansha.