How to read EPUB files on your Kindle

The open-source EPUB e-book format is great for sharing books between different readers and making life easier on readers generally--but Amazon's Kindle, the big player, doesn't support it. Fortunately, there's a free, easy workaround: Calibre, an e-book management and conversion tool that lets you quickly port your EPUB books over to your Kindle.

If you use an e-reader, it's probably a Kindle, which means it can be a pain to use open-source e-book formats like EPUB. Calibre is a free, open-source e-book manager that lets users convert EPUB files to Kindle-readable MOBI files. Here's how to use it:

  1. Download and install Calibre.

  2. When you first run it, Calibre will ask what language you want to use, and to select a folder to use as your e-book library. Next, select your primary reader.

  3. From the main screen, you can choose to add books by clicking the large icon in the top left. Add any EPUB files you've got that you want to convert.
  4. Step 3: Convert e-books.
    Step 3: Convert e-books. Screenshot by Rob Lightner
  5. Select the EPUB files you want to convert and click "Convert books" in the top bar.

  6. Select your options. Calibre should have automatically decided on the MOBI format if you use a Kindle as your primary reader. You have a vast array of options to choose from, but for most EPUBs, you should find the basic setup good enough. When you're settled, click "OK" at the bottom right.
  7. Step 5: Select optins.
    Step 5: Select optins. Screenshot by Rob Lightner
  8. It doesn't usually take very long, and once you've converted them, you can send them straight to your Kindle from within Calibre by selecting "Connect/share" from the top right or aiming your device at the correct folder.

Of course, you can use Calibre to convert other e-book files as well. It's a powerful program that can really help folks who have multiple readers or who want to explore new formats.

About the author

    Rob Lightner is a tech and gaming writer based in Seattle. He has reviewed games, gadgets, and technical manuals, written copy for space travel gear, and composed horoscopes for cats.

     

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