Read ebooks using BorrowBox on a Kobo Clara HD

In these strange times our fantastic public libraries are closed and so I had no access to my usual light reading. So, I ordered a Kobo Clara HD online. The Kobo itself is very easy to set up – turn it on and follow the screens. During set up, you will be asked to put in a password, make sure to write this down somewhere. At this stage, you will also connect to your wifi so the code to access this will be needed. It is a powered by an inbuilt battery that can be charged via the USB cable supplied. The ebooks cannot be downloaded directly to the Kobo Clara – an intermediate machine must be used, either a Linux, Mac or PC computer.

The steps are: 1) sign up to a public library; 2) install Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) on your computer, part of which is signing up for an Adobe ID (or, just simply a login!); 3) optionally, install Kobo Desktop on your computer if you want to use the Kobo bookstore; 4) download ebook from BorrowBox to your computer and transfer it across to your Kobo device. It’s a little fiddly but it works.

1) Here in Ireland, the public libraries use the BorrowBox platform. To use this, first sign up for library membership either at your own library or during COVID-19 at Libraries Ireland site.

At the website there are apps that can be used for iPad, iPhone, Android and Kindle Fire. None of these can be used with my Kobo Clara. What I did was get out my Windows laptop, install Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) (and Kobo Desktop). It is helpful before doing so to read the User Guide on your Kobo (under Help on your device or online): this gives some tips on how to set up ADE. You might also like to watch a YouTube video about how to do this – here’s one from Wexford County Library that’s useful.

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2) When you are installing ADE on your computer, you will be asked to set up an ‘Adobe ID’. Again make sure you record your placename and password somewhere again.

3) Install Kobo Desktop, if you’d like to. I’m not using this software which can be used to access the Kobo bookstore.

4) When you’re ready to get an ebook, go to wherever your library has the BorrowBox portal. Browse the ebooks to see what you’d like. Not all ebooks are available as some may be borrowed (just like physical books). These can also be reserved. Find a book that you can borrow – click the button to ‘borrow’. You will be asked to login (if you haven’t already) and then to download the file to your computer. This file depending on your set up will be stored in the Downloads folder, with file name ‘URLLink.acsm’.

Then attach your Kobo to your computer by cable – press ‘Connect’ on the Kobo when asked. Start up ADE (and optionally then Kobo Desktop if you’re using it). Open your download in ADE, the ebook should then download to your computer and open up in ADE. Drag the book cover onto the Kobo device (on left-hand side of ADE screen). Wait for it to be transferred, etc. When that is done, either eject from your Windows computer as usual or go to Kobo Desktop and eject the device from there (eject icon on top right-hand side of screen).

If you’re only charging your Kobo on your computer and not transferring books to it – then click on ‘Cancel’ on Kobo screen when asked. This means that the device will not show up in ADE or in File Explorer.

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I hope this helps. Enjoy your reading!



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