Zip Books

Yes! My Zip Book Arrived Today!

This reader is already reading her Zip Book, a new paperback that arrived in her mail.

A special way to get books that the library doesn't own, Zip Books are real books that can be sent to your home.

A Zip Book
 is shipped directly to your mailing address using Amazon Prime, and checked out to you. Zip Books, if securely packaged as noted below, can now be returned in the book drop. Or, return them directly to your librarian's hands.

Request a Zip Book Now

Use this button to get to the Zip Book form.


Are You Ready to Request a Zip Book?

  • To request a Zip Book, you need an active Humboldt County Library Card account. (Express Cards and eAccounts are not eligible for this program.)
  • Your library account must be in good standing (less than $5 in fines, no overdue items).
  • Your mailing address must be current and match the contact information in your library card account.
  • You can request one Zip Book at a time, one item per calendar month. To request a new item, you must return your current Zip Book.

What Can I Request Through the Zip Book Program?

  • To be a Zip Book, the title must be a title not already in the library catalog. 
    • Alternate formats of items we already own are okay (for example,  Large Print, Audiobook, or Spanish editions.)
  • The item must be 
    • a Print Book, or 
    • an Audiobook on CD or on mp3 CD (online formats are not eligible).
  • The publication date must be at least 1 year ago.
  • The item must be available through Amazon Prime.
  • The cost should be less than $35 for a print book and less than $70 for an audiobook.
  • Adult Fiction titles cannot be on the current New York Times Bestseller list.
  • Wondering why there are all these rules? It’s explained at the bottom of this page.

How do I request a Zip Book?

  1. Fill out a Zip Book Request Form at any Humboldt County Library branch, or use the online form.
  2. Library staff will order your book and check it out on your library card account. Generally, your due date will be two months after the date we think your Zip Book might arrive in your mailbox.
  3. If you put your email address on the form, you will get a notice once your Zip Book has been ordered that tells you its estimated delivery date and due date.


  • Return your Zip Book along with its enclosed paperwork to the hands of staff at your library service desk, or ...
  • With the book securely packaged, you can put your Zip Book in the book drop. To do so, you must package it in a sealed ziplock bag or a sealed padded mailer.
  • Your Zip Book can be returned at any library branch. It will be checked in at the Eureka Main Library, where it may be added to the Humboldt County Library collection (most items are added).

The Zip Book Project is Funded by the California Library Services Act

Zip Books is a statewide project of the California State Library and NorthNet, funded by the California Library Services Act. This wonderful project improves flexibility and efficiency in our interlibrary loan system. 

If you were wondering why brand new books, eBooks, and current NYT bestsellers can’t be Zip Books, it’s because this funding is given to us just to improve our ability to get you older books that aren’t in our local library system.

For new books, please let us know of your interest by making a New Book Suggestion.