Updates: E-book & Audiobook Borrowing

Person holding a phone with SimplyE on the screen

Please note that since 2020 we have seen a persistent uptick in our e-book usage. In order to maintain the best possible service for the greatest number of users, we have therefore placed a limit on e-book checkouts as a way to increase the number of books available and reduce wait times for all patrons. This includes checkouts through the Library’s main e-reader app, SimplyE, as well as through other apps used to access NYPL e-books, such as Overdrive/Libby and Cloud Library.

Under the policy, each patron is being asked to limit their checkouts to 3 at a time. Additionally, each patron is also asked to place no more than 3 holds at a time. While we know this will be an adjustment for some current users, we believe it will allow us to offer a better service for the greatest number of users and will provide shorter wait times and broader access to our e-books for everyone during this difficult time.

Don’t forget that you can always return early. As soon as you return an item you can check out a new one. Returning e-books and audiobooks early will help keep our digital materials available to all users during this time—and will also allow you to add new tiles to read. Here’s a guide on how to return e-books and audiobooks.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve been downloading NYPL e-books for a while. Why did the number of books I’m allowed to have checked out at one time suddenly change?
The Library has been taking steps to support our patrons as much as possible. To that end, in order to maintain the best possible service for the greatest number of users, we have limited the number of checkouts and holds on e-books and audiobooks in order to ensure that as many users as possible can access our digital materials.

What is the total number of e-books and audiobooks that I can now check out at one time?
We ask that you keep the number of items you have checked out to a total of 3 e-books/audiobooks at a time.

What is the total number of holds that I can now have at one time?
The same limit of 3 also applies to holds.

I have a hold ready for pickup but I cannot check it out because I reached the limit for checkouts. What can I do?
If you are already at the maximum number of checkouts, you will need to return an item that you currently have checked out in order to check out another title.

How can I return e-books?
If you need help with returning an e-book or audiobook early, please see our guide on how to return e-books and audiobooks.

How do I learn more  about SimplyE?

Check out the SimplyE page for more information.