How to Read EPUB Books on Your Kindle

Book lovers no longer need to lug around a number of hardback favorites, thanks to lightweight devices like the Amazon Kindle. E-book readers make it possible to carry around your whole collection in your pocket, saving you space and weight, and the possibility of ripping the cover of your favorite read. Unfortunately, though, Amazon’s popular Kindle platform doesn’t support books in one of the usual formats for e-books: EPUB.

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If you’re a canny shopper (and know where to look), you can read a lot of books for completely free, as some classics are available through platforms like Project Gutenberg. However, most of those downloadable classics come in the EPUB file type. Luckily, with a little know-how on your side, you can easily render EPUB files readable on Kindle devices.

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. Follow the steps below to access a wealth of open-source and free-to-use literature accessible only in the EPUB format.

Convert EPUB files to MOBI using Calibre

One of the most popular ways to convert to MOBI is with Calibre, an e-book organization program that also allows users to convert their books into different formats. You can download Calibre for free online; it’s available on Windows, MacOS, Linux, and portable devices.

Please note: These screenshots are from the MacOS version of Calibre — but the procedure for Calibre on Windows is exactly the same.

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

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 e-book 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 e-book 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

Or, if you don’t have a USB cable to hand, you can easily email your file to your Kindle, granted it’s not a large comic book or anything with too many images. To do so, head to your Content and Devices page on Amazon, select the Devices subhead, and click on the device you want to send it to. You may need to click the device a second time to see the device’s info. Once you can see the info, you’ll notice your Kindle has an email address. Open your email account, and attach your converted file to an email, and send it to your Kindle’s address. As long as it’s connected to a Wi-Fi network or mobile internet connection, it should shortly receive the file.

Convert EPUB files to MOBI using Kindle Previewer 3

Another reliable program for converting EPUB files to MOBI is Amazon’s own Kindle Previewer, available as a free download for Windows and MacOS. This is an application that allows users to preview the look of e-books on various Kindle models. In order to accurately preview an EPUB file, the Previewer will automatically convert it into MOBI.

To use Kindle Previewer, download and install it, then select Open book from the main page.

After a short time, the conversion process will finish, and a dialog box will open to alert you and provide you with a link to the folder where the new file has been saved. Click that link to view the file location.

Now that you have a MOBI file, all that remains is to move it to your Kindle. Plug your Kindle into your computer, then copy and paste the MOBI file to your Kindle.

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