KoboReaderEasier downloads of OverDrive library books are on the way “relatively soon” for Kobo e-readers and apps.

OverDrive CEO and Founder Steve Potash revealed this during a TeleRead interview. The entire Q&A will go online in the next few days.

OverDrive now supports Kobo devices through sideloading. But in the future, users apparently will be able to benefit from integration in their e-readers and apps similar to how OverDrive works with Kindle e-readers and apps. You choose a library book within OverDrive, then send it to your Kindle’s library and open it up there as if it’s a regular Kindle book you bought.

Kobo owners right now are not so lucky even though the Japanese company Rakuten owns both Kobo and OverDrive. They must use Adobe Digital Editions and a USB connection to sideload books. Look how convoluted the process is (just as it is for owners of B&N’s E Ink devices).

Props to OverDrive for efforts to streamline this for Kobo users with an approach apparently similar to the one used for Kindles.

“It should be no surprise,” Potash told TeleRead, “but with our partnership with Kobo and Rakuten, we are working very closely now with Kobo to expand the value of the Kobo app and Kobo readers. And we expect that we will have good news for Kobo users for conveniences where they can enjoy library and schoolbooks from OverDrive in their Kobo reader environment.”

While Potash doesn’t have an exact timetable, he  assures TeleRead that “it’s something they can expect to see relatively soon.”

Publisher’s note: A step toward more accessible library e-books

I own a Kobo Aura H2O, and I very much look forward to enjoying OverDrive library books more easily on it. My Kobo, unlike my Kindles, lets me adjust the amount of bolding—from none to plenty. See Aura H2O photo below showing the font-weight adjuster and other amenities AWOL from Kindles.

With a greater range of typographical choices in the Kobos than in Kindles, libraries may want to reconsider their options when looking for e-readers accessible to older patrons and K-12 kids with special needs.

Of course, if Amazon can catch up and itself add an all-text bolding option, ideally through a font weight slider like Kobo’s, that will help. So would text to speech in future E Ink Kindles and Kobo e-readers.

Meanwhile let’s hope that OverDrive books will remain readable on Kindles and within Kindle apps. The more choices for patrons of public and school libraries, the better. – David Rothman



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Editor. Writer. Social media specialist. Reader. Video game player. Sports lover. Card Collector. "I used to be a library junkie with books piled on my nightstand. I’d be constantly renewing books until I finished all of them. There had to be a way to escape the clutter. That’s when I discovered e-book apps for my old Blackberry. I bought plenty of books and read and read and read. I even developed what I called ‘Blackberry Eye,’ small wrinkles under my eyes from staring down at my phone all day."


  1. “Props to OverDrive for efforts to streamline this for Kobo users with an approach apparently similar to the one used for Kindles.”

    The bigger question is why they didn’t add this feature in the past 4 years. Sony added it to the late Sony Readers in 2011. Where was Kobo?

    • Working in tech support for a library I can tell you the number one issue is having to authenticate with an Adobe ID; second to this the extra steps of downloading to computer transferring making sure ADE is up to date etc. The Adobe ID just adds another layer and more importantly another password for users to forget. If users could load OD like Sony readers did/do it would be ideal, second to this would be an option to send to device.

  2. I’ve never really found the current process overly burdensome, but then again I’m a bit of a tech head. I’m looking forward to Kobo/Overdrive integration mostly because ADE 2.0 is a bit of a pain to install under wine and buggy to boot.

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