So many people here on yantraas who belong in the intersection between tech lovers and book lovers seem to be having this doubt.
Does kindle support epub format?
In this article, I, in addition to answering this simple query am going to give you a comprehensive insight into kindle and the different formats it supports.
You see I love using kindle and it is one gadget that you will always find in my backpack.
Yeah, I know I know, some of you may argue reading directly off hardcover books has its own value. And that’s fine.
To each his own.
However, you just can’t beat the flexibility that kindle offers. You see experienced readers go through books like burgers.
And they want a big library of books to choose from once they are done with the book they are currently on.
Additionally, most people myself included like to work on enhancing a wide variety of skills. Now, of course, you can’t beat the comprehension that you get from videos.
But if you have to go in-depth on any particular topic eBooks are usually the best bet.
And having thick books all the time in your backpack isn’t all that fun, you know.
Now, if you wish to know all the benefits that come along with having a kindle or whether you should get one or not my review on kindle paperwhite should help you.
In any case, let’s limit this article to understanding kindle formats starting from the most asked question.
Does kindle support epub?
The answer is no, despite epub being a popular eBook format kindle doesn’t natively support epub. That being said, it is very easy to convert an epub eBook into Mobi format for kindle to decode make it readable for you. Another popular format that is supported by kindle and you will find it on eBooks that you download directly from amazon kindle library is azw.
Okay, I know the follow-up question that you must be having, how to convert epub to Mobi.
It’s very easy and I will tell that to you in a second but before that for people who are absolutely new to this kindle lingo let me quickly explain what do these different formats mean.
And before we dive deeply into understanding different formats in context to kindle, here are some other articles that I feel will interest you (they all open in a new tab)
- Kindle Paperwhite Review: Is Kindle Paperwhite Worth It?
- Best Budget Tablets Under $200
- Easily Convert Your Monitor Into A Smart TV.
- Best tablets for note-making under budget.
- Top smart gadgets under budget that run on solar power.
Different Types Of eBook Formats
So, what are the different types of eBook formats you will usually encounter?
The most common formats that a kindle e-reader is capable of decoding and executing are Mobi and azw.
However, those aren’t the only formats in which you will find eBooks over the internet.
Let’s talk about the most popular ones.
Epub is a popular file format that is widely used to store eBooks and similar content.
EPUB is short for electronic publication and was initiated in 2007 as the official standard of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF).
Epub is capable of encoding words, images, stylesheets, fonts, metadata details, and similar content. Epub format is analogous to vector format in design as screen size doesn’t dictate the formatting.
You can use the epub format on screens as small as 3.5”.
For this reason, this is a very popular eBook format and is deployed natively in e-readers like Kobo, Barnes, Noble, and Nook, etc.
In addition to opening epub files in gadgets that support it you can also open epub files using an application like calibre or stanza desktop.
Unfortunately, Kindle doesn’t natively support epub formats.
Files with .MOBI extensions are once again a very popular format that is primarily used to store eBooks.
The format was created as a Mobipocket reader format but it has been since used to decode in different platforms.
It is a special file format designed to work with mobile devices and eReaders.
Another very special characteristic feature of the MOBI format is that it allows the deployment of DRM or copyright protection which can be used to prevent copyright issues and illegal distribution.
Kindle recognizes and executes files with .mobi extension pretty smoothly.
I don’t know about the above two formats but I am pretty sure you are well versed with what pdf format is.
Pdf is short for portable document format is one of the most popular file formats used to distribute read-only files that preserve a page’s layout.
The most common deployment arenas include eBooks, manuals, application forms, and scanned documents.
It was created way back in the 1990s to create a file format that can be opened easily on most hardware and operating systems.
I would say they have been fairly successful as pdf is a recognized format on all handheld devices, PCs, and operating systems.
Even if you don’t have a dedicated app to open it your browser can do the task of displaying your file and print if needed.
Your kindle is very much capable of reading and displaying pdf files. If you don’t convert a pdf file into a format like the mobi, you will be able to see your pdf file like a graphic.
This can be useful in certain situations for example when you are trying to read a graphical comic or similar.
But in most cases, you would want to convert it into a more suitable format like Mobi.
How To Convert epub To mobi?
Okay now that you are aware of the most popular eBook formats, it’s time to learn how exactly can you convert an eBook from epub to Mobi.
It’s actually pretty easy to be honest.
To convert an eBook from epub to mobi you will need a utility software by the name Calibre.
Yes, it’s absolutely free. Just click on the link, download the setup and install the software.
Once you have successfully installed Calibre, it’s time to convert the eBook from epub into Mobi format.
Here is the step-by-step method to do just that.
- Open calibre software and on the top left corner of the program window click add books.
- Next go ahead and select the folder in which you have the eBook in epub format that you wish to convert to mobi.
- Select the eBook and click open. You will see that the file or eBook is added to the calibre library.
- This step is optional but if you want you can change the file metadata by clicking on Edit Metadata on the bar above.
- If you want to edit metadata, the core elements that you can look into modifying are front cover, title, author, publisher and tags if you want to easily search for your eBook from your library using keywords.
- Click ok to return to the library.
- Next click on convert books. This will open up the convert dialog box.
- Select the output format as MOBI from the format list on the top right corner of the application window.
- Click ok and the conversion process will begin.
- Once the conversion process is complete you can find the MOBI file by selecting formats to expand the list and selecting MOBI.
- Click the converted file and then click save to disk to save the converted file into your desired folder.
And that’s pretty much it. You can now directly put this file into the documents folder of your kindle device and enjoy reading your book on kindle.
Why Does Kindle Not Support epub?
Even though you will be able to enjoy your eBook without any issues using the mobi or azw format, the question isn’t misplaced.
Given that epub is such a popular format.
Why doesn’t kindle natively support epub?
Here are the reasons for it.
Amazon had been working on creating a kindle tablet from before epub was introduced in the digital space.
The groundwork for the development of kindle was laid in 2004 and it was only in late 2007 that epub found recognition in IDPF as explained above.
This was around the same time when the first model of kindle was released and the e-book company MobiPocket was bought over by Amazon.
Remember that around this time mobi was one of the few successfully deployed formats for eReaders.
So, by the time epub came into the picture mobi was already a successfully deployed format in the released kindle e-readers.
It was tied in nicely with the hardware used in kindle devices and most of the bugs were ironed out. Trying to introduce a new format into the landscape would have obviously meant much software and possibly hardware changes.
Additionally, many similar e-readers were making widespread use of mobi in their development and deployment, not to mention the huge eBook libraries that were already using the mobi format.
For these varied reasons, mobi was firmly established into the plans that Amazon wanted out of kindle.
So that was the primary reason why epub wasn’t settled into the kindle ecosystem. The development process of epub is much newer when compared to the development process of Kindle e-readers.
There is another popular reasoning that goes around regarding non-deployment of epub on kindle.
It is speculated that Amazon wants its users locked in their tested ecosystem.
If you closely link the format you use in your library (kindle library) and allow your device to strictly use that format, you tend to keep the user locked in into the defined ecosystem.
You will be able to purchase an eBook from Amazon and it will be seamlessly transferred to your kindle account that only decodes the exclusive format that kindle has set.
On the other hand, if you become a little liberal with the format, there is a good chance you will see reduced eBook sales as people will wander and explore more thus creating a leak in the funnel so to speak.
Once again, this reasoning isn’t written in stone, these are just reasoned speculations that make sense.
Similarly, it is believed that Amazon’s DRM are much secure and efficient on its native format than epub.
So those are the reasons why Kindle doesn’t natively support epub.
Get FREE eBooks For Your Kindle
Now, who doesn’t like free stuff?
With the humongous digitization that we are seeing, you can have so much free digital stuff from the internet. And yes, that includes FREE eBooks too.
So, let me share with you some websites from where you can download eBooks on different subjects absolutely free of cost.
Because you have chosen to invest your time by reading this article until the end, consider this a thank you gift.
So, what are the different places from where you can get free eBooks from?
Many people don’t know this but you can use the metasearch function of calibre to find your favorite eBooks.
All you need to do is click on the Get Books icon and search for your favorite eBook by using the book’s title, author, subject, etc.
I wouldn’t rate calibre’s browsing capability highly but hey, if it works why not use it.
Here is a list of websites from where you can get free eBooks.
- Project Gutenberg – This is one of the oldest online libraries on the internet. If you like reading old classics, Project Gutenberg offers around 60,000 copyright free books to choose from.
- Open Library – Comprises mainly of Pdf format eBooks. But you can obviously easily convert them to mobi or azw using calibre. Open library’s downloadable book count is even higher than that of Project Gutenberg’s.
- Archive.org – Great place if you are looking for historical, old classics and academic texts.
- Feedbooks – Good collection of self-published works.
- Free-eBooks.net – Good mix of self-published books and old classics.
- Baen – Perfect if you are looking for science fiction books.
I hope you enjoy these resources. Don’t worry, I will keep updating the list as I find more copyright-free eBook resources.
But I think these should be sufficient to get you started.
Now, I have created this article around the kindle, the different formats supported by it, and how you can convert an eBook from one format to another.
That being said, it’s highly likely that you may have more questions regarding and around kindle, e-readers, eBooks, etc.
In the subsequent section let me quickly answer a few more questions that I know for a fact kindle owners or potential owners have.
Additionally, I will keep the section open meaning if you have any similar questions just let me know in the comments below.
If the query appeals to a majority of users, I will include it in this section.
Can Kindle Books Be Shared?
Yes, it’s possible to share your kindle eBooks with your family members. But before you can do that you will have to create an amazon household account first. After creating the amazon household account, you will be able to share prime benefits, and access the family library which can contain the shared collection of eBooks and audiobooks downloaded on the kindle apps and gadgets.
Can Kindle Books Be Read On iPad?
Yes, absolutely. And you don’t need to transfer your eBooks from Kindle to iPad. All you need to do is install the kindle app from your app store and login into the kindle app using the main ID that you use to login into your kindle device and voila after some time all your eBooks will get synced with the kindle app on your iPad.
How To Download Kindle Books from Amazon to Kindle?
First, ensure that WhisperSync is enabled on your kindle device by going to settings to manage your content and devices. If the synchronization is enabled, every ebook you purchase or add to your library will automatically sync your kindle device and apps.
I hope you enjoyed the article as much as I enjoyed writing it.
If you have any other comments, queries, feedback, or questions about anything that you just read or otherwise just let me know in the comments section below.
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Take care of yourselves and I will see you at the next one!