Upload PDF and EPUB files to Google Books on Android

Google now lets you upload your personal reading content directly from your Android device. This offers a much more convenient way to read the things you want, rather than just what's available on the Google Play Store.

Nicole Cozma
Nicole Cozma has an affinity for Android apps and devices, but loves technology in general. Based out of the Tampa Bay Area, she enjoys being a spectator to both sunsets and lightning storms.
Nicole Cozma
2 min read

The Google Play Books library view. Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Originally, Google Books was only good at doing one thing: reading content from the Google Play Store. This meant you could read free books, or the ones you purchased -- and that was it. When the update allowing your personal files to be uploaded to Google Books came along, the app made a giant leap forward. Now Android devices could be even more competitive with traditional e-readers that allow side-loading.

Unfortunately, the upload feature was limited to your Web browser. This meant navigating to the Play Books Web site on a computer, or within the mobile browser, to upload your content. Clearly, there was a disconnect in the process.

With the most recent update to the Play Books app, the ability to upload PDF and EPUB files directly from Gmail or the Downloads folder has been added. However, you will need a copy of the latest Play Books app on your device. If you haven't received the update, you can install a copy from here, provided by AndroidPolice.

After you download the APK, locate it in your Download folder and manually install it. You will need to have the unknown sources option enabled in Settings & Security.

Now that you're set with the newest version, here's how to use the upload feature:

First, locate a PDF or EPUB file in your Gmail messages or Downloads folder. The Downloads folder can generally be accessed through the file explorer on your device. For instance, it's called on My Files on most Samsung devices.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Second, tap the file once to open or preview it, and there will be an Upload to Play Books option in the pop-up menu.

That's it! Now you can easily add more content to your Google Books without needing to be in front of the computer.