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More MOBI, fewer problems: here’s how to get EPUB books on your Kindle

Ebook readers are a nice tool for people who like to do a lot of reading on the go, and Amazon’s various Kindles are among the best. Although the devices provide good performance in an attractive frame, Kindles do have one notable drawback — they do not support the EPUB format. For those unaware, EPUB is one of the most common ebook formats. It’s open-source and free to use, and as such, is supported by most ebook readers aside from the Kindle. EPUB is also a popular format for free ebooks, such as the public domain texts on sites like Project Gutenberg. As such, Kindle users may be miffed to learn they can’t read them.

Related: Compatability got you down? Here’s how to convert a Kindle ebook to a PDF

Those who have a Kindle and a library of unreadable EPUB files need not worry, however. With a little work, it is possible to convert an EPUB file into a format the Kindle can read. Even better, the process is surprisingly quick. Here’s how to do it.

Convert EPUB files to MOBI using Calibre

Kindle supports Amazon’s proprietary format, AZW, as well as the similar MOBI format. If you have an EPUB file that you want to read on a Kindle, the simplest way is to convert it to MOBI, and there are several programs that will allow you to do this. One of the most popular is Calibre, a program that allows users to organize ebooks and convert them to different formats. You can download Calibre for free online; it’s available on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Once you have installed Calibre, the first step is to add an EPUB book to the library. Download the EPUB file to your computer — from Project Gutenberg, for example — and then, in Calibre, click on the button labeled Add books.

calibre screenshot 1

If you want to select one specific file, click Add books from a single directory, then find the file and select it.

calibre screenshot 2

Once you have added the ebook to your Calibre library, select it, then click Convert books.

calibre screenshot 3

This will open a new window, giving you numerous options for adjusting the metadata and formatting of the new file you will create. For our purposes, the only thing that matters is the output format, which you can select from a drop-down menu in the upper right. Make sure this field is set to MOBI.

calibre screenshot 5

The conversion process may take a minute. Once it is finished, right-click on the ebook in your library and select Open containing folder.

another calibre screenshot

The MOBI file should be there. Now, simply plug in your Kindle to your computer, then copy and paste the MOBI file to your Kindle.

calibre screenshot 7
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