How to Download eBooks to 
Computers and Hand-Held Devices

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This Web page describes how to download or transfer eBooks from computers to iPhone/iPad, Android, Nook, and Kindle mobile devices.  It also describes how to read eBooks on your computer.

Computers Kindle iPhone/iPad Android

Most eBooks come in one of two formats or flavors (or both): ePub, which is for almost every eReader in the world except Kindle; and MOBI, the format that Amazon's Kindle series of eReaders use.

For hand-held, or mobile, devices (smart phones and tablets, not eReaders), you need to download an app to your device in order to read eBooks.  Android phone and tablet users download and install apps from the Android Store or Amazon; iPhone and iPad users need to download apps from the iTunes App Store.  There are apps to read both ePub (iBooks app, Nook app, etc.) and Mobi formats (Kindle app).

eReaders have their own software already installed to be able to read the type(s) of eBooks for which it was designed.  For example, Amazon's Kindle device only reads partucular types of files (MOBI), and is optimized to read eBooks formatted in MOBI.  The Nook and Sony eReaders are optimized to read eBooks formatted in ePub.


How to Read eBooks on your Computer

Computer Operating Systems (OS's) do not have a way to read eBook files (ePub and MOBI) natively. You need to download and install software to read those types of files on your computer. Calibre eBook Reader is a free software program that reads both ePub and MOBI files on a computer.

  1.  Go to and download the version of Calibre right for your computer Operating System (OS).

  2.  In Windows Explorer or MacOS Finder, navigate to the location where you downloaded the Calibre installation file and double-click the Calibre icon to install the software (follow the instructions that appear on your screen--it takes only a minute or two).

  3.  Once installed, double-click the Calibre icon on your desktop to open the application, and then click the Add Books icon at the top to add an eBook to the library.

  4.  Navigate to where the eBook is located, and bring it into Calibre.

The eBook is now ready to read.

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How to Download eBooks to a Kindle Device

Note: These instructions apply to Kindle, Kindle Fire, Kindle Keyboard and Kindle DX.

Connecting your Kindle device to your computer

  1. Plug the larger end of a USB cable into an available USB port or a powered USB hub connected to your computer.

  2.  Connect the other end of the USB cable to the micro-USB port on the bottom of your Kindle device.

    Note: When connected to your computer, your Kindle device will go into USB drive mode and its battery will be recharged by the computer. Your wireless service is temporarily shut off and you will not receive any of your subscriptions while in this mode. Also, your Kindle device is not usable as a reading device while you are in USB drive mode, but will return right to where you were once you safely eject the Kindle device from your computer.

Transferring Content to your Kindle device to your computer

  1.  Once you've connected your Kindle to a computer using a USB cable, your Kindle will appear in the same location as external USB drives usually appear. For Windows users, this is typically in the "Computer" or "My Computer" menu. For Mac users, the drive will appear on the desktop.

  2.  Open the Kindle drive. You will see several folders inside, one of which will be named "Documents" (or "Books" on Kindle Fire). This is the folder you will move the downloaded file into.

  3.  Locate the downloaded MOBI file and copy it into the Documents folder (Books folder on Kindle Fire). You can generally copy files by clicking and dragging the file to the folder.

  4.  Safely eject your Kindle device from your computer and unplug the USB cable. Your content will appear on the Home screen (or, the Device tab of your Kindle Paperwhite).

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How to Download eBooks to your iPhone/iPad

Instructions for Copying eBooks to an iPhone/iPad Devices

All eBooks need to be brought into Apple iTunes to be transferred to your iPhone/iPad device. To read eBooks on an iPhone/iPad (, you must install the free iBooks app on your iPhone/iPad. Detailed instructions are in the iPad or iPhone user manual (search for "iBooks" in the PDF file).

  1.  After downloading the eBook(s) to your computer, open iTunes.

  2. On the upper-left-hand side of the iTunes window, select Books from the Library drop-down list.

  3. Select File > Add File to Library...

  4. In the Add to Library dialog box, navigate to where the eBook file is located, select the file, and then click Open.

  5.  Connect your iPhone/iPad to your computer using the USB cable that came with your device.

  6. Click on your device name, select the device on the left-hand side of the iTunes application, and then sync the books in iTunes with your device.

  7.  Open up the iBookshelf and enjoy reading your eBook.

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How to Download eBooks to your Android Device

To read eBooks on Android devices requires Android OS 2.2 or later, and an app that allows reading eBooks, such as Google Play Books, Kindle for Android, Nook for Android, or the like.

How to use Google Play is found on the Google Play site.

  1.  After downloading the eBook(s) to your computer, connect your unlocked Android phone or tablet to your computer using the microUSB to USB cable.

  2.  Critical step: On your Android phone, pull down the notification window (a.k.a. "window shade") and tap USB Connected.

  3.  A notification window appears on the phone or tablet. Tap Mount. Your phone or tablet will enter USB storage mode.

  4.  Find the removable storage drive. On a PC, navigate to My Computer and look for a new removable storage drive. On a Mac, the drive will appear on your desktop.

  5.  Drag-and-drop the desired file(s) to the phone or tablet drive.

  6.  After the files transfer, in your phone or tablet’s notification window, tap Turn Off USB Storage.

  7.  Unplug your phone or tablet.

Very detailed instructions for downloading and copying eBook files to an Android device are found on this website:

How To Add Photos Ebooks and Files To Your Android Phone

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