Adding EPUB Books to Your Kobo

Peter Lavin

Sept 10, 2011

Table of Contents

The Easy Way
Downloading an epub Book
Connecting Your Kobo
Copying to Your Kobo
About the Author

The Easy Way

In addition to purchased titles, your Kobo reader is quite capable of reading any files in the EPUB format. This includes electronic books that you may have checked out from the library or books that you have downloaded from sites such as Project Gutenberg.

However, it is not readily apparent how you can easily transfer ebooks to your Kobo. Google the topic and you'll find instructions for importing a book into Adobe Digital Editions and then transferring it to your Kobo. This process works but it is unnecessarily complicated and can be frustrating—if you connect your Kobo at the wrong time it won't be accessible from Adobe Digital Editions.

There is an easier way. Find your Kobo and its USB cable and sit down in front of your computer.


These instructions apply to Mac OS X. With minor adjustments, this procedure will also work on Linux.

Downloading an epub Book

Start up your computer and point your favourite browser at the Project Gutenberg site. Select a book you'd like to read being sure to download the EPUB version.

Figure 1. Downloading an EPUB file

Downloading an EPUB file

Clicking the EPUB link saves a file with the extension epub to your download directory. Most browsers let you configure the directory used for downloads but if you haven't changed the default, the directory or folder is typically named Downloads and is found in your home directory. In order to transfer your book to the Kobo you'll need to know where to find it.

Once the file has downloaded—it shouldn't take long—you need to connect your Kobo as described in the next section.

Connecting Your Kobo

Power up your Kobo, and connect it to the computer. Once a connection is established, the "Read or manage?" page should display on your Kobo. Choose the "MANAGE LIBRARY" option.

The following icon (or something similar) should appear on your Desktop:

Figure 2. The Kobo eReader icon

The Kobo eReader icon

Double click this icon and you should see something similar to the following:

Figure 3. Kobo eReader directories

Kobo eReader directories

Double click the Digital Editions directory—this is where you want to copy your downloaded file.

Copying to Your Kobo

Now you must copy the ebook from the download directory to your Kobo. Make sure that the Finder App is active so that you can open a Finder window that shows your download folder. If it's not active click the Finder App icon on the Dock.

Once Finder is active, from the application menu bar at the top of your screen choose the File menu and then choose the New Finder Window option.

in this new window open your downloads folder (usually name Downloads and found within your home directory) and find the file that you just downloaded—the one with the epub extension.

Using your mouse pick up the EPUB file and drop it in the Digital Editions Finder Window.

This copies the file to your Kobo. You now need to disconnect your Kobo nicely.


Close the Digital Editions Finder Window and then right click the "KOBOeReader" icon on your Desktop (shown in Figure 2, “The Kobo eReader icon”) and choose the Eject "KOBOeReader" option from the pop-up menu.

Disconnect the USB cable from your computer. Your Kobo should say: "Please wait while your Kobo eReader processes new content." Wait patiently and try not to get annoyed that your book has been referred to as "content".

When processing is complete, navigate to the "I'M READING" page and you should find your new title at the top of the list and tagged as New. Happy reading!

About the Author

Peter Lavin is a technical writer who has been published in a number of print and online magazines. He is the author of Object Oriented PHP, published by No Starch Press and a contributor to PHP Hacks by O'Reilly Media.

Please do not reproduce this article in whole or part, in any form, without obtaining written permission.