Wednesday, March 30, 2011


A Picture of a eBookAt last, I've discovered a free program that converts ebooks from one e-reader's format into a format for another e-reader. It's called CALIBRE and the details are at

Calibre works on PC, Mac, and Linux operating systems and it's excellent. If you are like me, I buy ebooks for Sony ereaders and Kobos, etc, and often download free ebooks from third party sites, but until now I could only read them on my laptop using Adobe Digital Editions as long as they were .pdf or ePub. I cannot afford to own several e-readers, so I have one, a Kindle. I have noticed too, with some frustration, that some ebooks are available in one online ebook store and not another. This is probably because the publisher has not formatted for all devices -- Calibre can sort out that problem for me as well.

Cover of
As long as you download the ebook files onto your hard drive or can synch your e-reader and computer, you can add the files to Calibre's library from your hard drive. Then all you have to do is:
  • Plug your device into your computer using the USB cable.
  • Select an ebook file in Calibre's library.
  • Click on "Send to device."
  • Wait as the program whirs for a short while converting the format and sending the title automatically to your e-reader.
The ebook arrives on your device and can be read immediately. If this isn't electronic sorcery, I don't know what is! Now I can buy or download a lot of ebooks free in any format and enjoy them on my Kindle at home or travelling. Take that, Amazon!! Though still not all of them, I admit - see below.

  • I did find it worthwhile to watch the short demo video on Calibre's opening webpage before I downloaded the program and started to use it. 
  • I don't own a Kobo or a Nook, so I haven't tested Calibre on those e-readers, but I'm pretty sure the conversions will work given the formats they use. However,
  • An e-book with DRM (digital rights management) cannot be converted to a different format or shared, which means you cannot convert many recent titles. This is a real pain!
  • Calibre enables you to share books without DRM and these are often older titles. This doesn't overly bother me, but it will annoy some avid readers.
  • Please note that Calibre cannot format your book manuscripts for e-publication.

Download Calibre at and give it a try.

Questions: Have you used Calibre? 
                      Or do you use  another program that offers similar e-book conversion?
                      Have you converted e-books to Kobo or Nook? If so, please comment.Enhanced by Zemanta