Import Library eBooks into Kobo

I was asked by my neighbor (a second time) to help importing eBooks that she downloaded from the state Library into her mother's Kobo eReader. Much scratching of heads and drinking of tea ensued, but we sorted it out, in the end. This post describes some of what I learned, though not the DRM bit: we worked that out the first time and it was so painful I have driven it from my mind.

There are four things you need to do to be able to read library eBooks on a Kobo reader. I'm not much of a fan of Kobo's software, or their reader; but hey, at least it does read ePub formatted books, which my Kindle does not, so I can't knock it too hard. Neither device, nor the DRM, do much to promote the advance of ebooks to replace paper books though. It is frustrating.

Anyway, the steps are:

  1. Install Adobe Digital Edition (Windows/Mac only) and Register your Kobo with it for the DRM (Digital Rights Managament / copy protecion) to work. It also enforces the library's borrowing period. I don't remember how to do this.

  2. Borrow a book from your library and download it into Adobe Digital Edition (ADE)

  3. Connect the Kobo and import the book

  4. Disconnect the Kobo and wait/hope it updates the book on its Library list.

Importing Library eBooks to Kobo

After you have installed ADE and Registered (see Kobo's instructions), this is how to go about borrowing an ebook from your library to read on the Kobo reader:

Borrow the book

First, Borrow the book from the Lirbary. Steps to do this depend on your library. It might involve Overdrive, or the library might have a borrowing system on their own web site. For the state library of Tasmania, the LINC web has a login for members which lets you browse, reserve and borrow books (returns are automatic I think). You'll eventually find a Borrow button and then a Download button once you borrow a book. Download the book.

Next, you import this borrowed book into ADE. Usually when you install ADE the filetypes are registered to it, so clicking the downloaded book will open it in ADE and you can read it on your computer. Press the "← Library" button in ADE to retun to ADE's "Library" (this is not the library you borrowed the book from. Confused? Yeah, poor name).

Connect the Kobo reader

This should be fairly straight forward.

  1. Turn on the Kobo
  2. Plug in the USB cable to the computer, and then to the Kobo
  3. The Kobo's screen will change and have two buttons to confirm the connection. Touch Connect on the Kobo's screen
  4. The computer will beep, and the reader will appear in Devices on ADE's left-hand list

Import the library book

  1. In ADE, click once on each book you want to import into the Kobo, so that it is highlighted (probably in Blue)
  2. drag the books onto the Kobo in ADE, so that a green plus-sign (+) appears, and drop them.
  3. You might see a progress window flash up while it copies the book. Or you might not. This part seems a bit slow/unstable. Have a cup of tea.

Disconnect the Kobo

Assuming you've given the Improbability Drive enough Brownian motion (tea), your books should have copied to the Kobo. It is time to Eject the Kobo and read the book.

  1. Open Windows Explorer (yellow folder)
  2. Right-click on the Kobo underneath "My Computer"
  3. in the menu that appears, choose "Eject" (caution: it's right below "Format". Thank you, Microsoft...)
  4. The computer will beep, and the Kobo screen will change to "Processing collection" or something. It might progress... more tea might be needed. For you, not the Kobo.
  5. Once the processing is complete, Press the Kobo's Library button and then Books. Your library book should be listed.