Kobo Aura HD with Overdrive Integration

If you enjoy reading, eReaders are one of the most practical inventions to have been developed over the last 20 years. The concept of portable readers has actually been around for a very long time but it’s really since the late 1990’s with the founding of E Ink and then advent of larger storage in SD cards in the 2010’s that have made eReaders even more functional and practical.

I’ll start with a disclaimer and state that this article comes very late (like, years late) as I’ve been using a Kobo Aura HD for quite some time but I had never connected to my public library using Overdrive.  If you have a Kobo eReader, you have plenty of reading options by downloading books via the Kobo store or even article of interest by using the built-in integration that Kobo has with Pocket.

Integrating Kobo with Overdrive: It’s a little complicated

Overdrive manages digital downloads and takes care of all of that DRM (digital rights managements) stuff so that you don’t have to. Integrating Overdrive with an eReader basically gives you the library experience without having to go to the library. With Overdrive integration you can browse your public library and reserve or download a book. It will be downloaded and synced to your reader and will disappear from your reader when your time is up. No need to worry about late fees.

Now the thing about Kobo and Overdrive is that not all Kobo eReaders have Overdrive integration built in.  As I mentioned, I have a Kobo Aura HD and you may guess that this is one of those Kobo models that DO NOT have Overdrive. Here is a list of Kobo eReaders that do have built in Overdrive Integration:

Kobo Aura ONE
Kobo Aura H2O edition 2
Kobo Aura edition 2
Kobo Clara HD
Kobo Forma
Kobo Libra H2O
Kobo Nia

I get it: the Aura HD was released in 2013 as a limited edition eReader, which might imply limited support. However, Kobo does continue to offer software and firmware upgrades for the Aura HD. Indeed since 2013 and with each subsequent firmware release, the reading experience with the Kobo Aura HD has only gotten better with new features and a better reading support for books and comics (cbz, cbr, etc) and other formats.  So we have to ask ourselves: why hasn’t Overdrive been added to the Kobo Aura HD?

Sadly, we don’t have an answer for that but when we do, you’ll be the first to know. Thankfully, we can tell you how to integrate your Kobo Aura HD with Overdrive and that this is done with the help of Adobe Digital Editions.

How to set up your Kobo with Overdrive and Adobe Digital Editions

Before you start, download and install Adobe Digital Editions acting as a sort of middleman.

Next, notice that the steps are very specific as you need to start Adobe Digitial Editions AFTER you’ve plugged in your Kobo. So, if Adobe Digitial Editions is already running, exit the application and then follow these steps:

1. Connect your Kobo to your computer with the USB cable. Preferably use the cable that came with your eReader as the reader may be finicky when connecting using other cables.

2. Sign up with Overdrive:

3. You will have the option to Sign up with Overdrive using your library card – DON’T do this. Go to Step 4.

4. Create an account with Overdrive using your email addressOverdrive will then send you a verification email so make sure you verify your Overdrive account before continuing.

5. Now Start/Launch Adobe Digital Editions – Once it has launched, confirm that you can see your eReader listed under Devices in the panel on the left hand side.

6. Click the little Settings wheel and select ‘Authorize device

7. Find Overdrive in the list and select it. Use the email and password that you used to create your Overdrive account in Step 4. Great. Your device is now authorized with Overdrive.

How to Add Your Local Library to Overdrive

8. Now that you are logged into Overdrive with your account, find your local library – search by name or location and save your library. Note that you can add multiple libraries.

6. Overdrive will then redirect you to your library’s login screen.

7. Once you’ve logged in, the url in your browser should read something like https://YourLibrary.overdrive.com

Congrats! You can now check-out books from the library and you will be able to see them in Adobe Digital Editions. Once that is done, you can right-click on the book and save it to your Kobo reader. The process may seem complicated, because it kind of is. Maybe in the near future, Kobo will include Overdrive integration in all of its readers’ firmware. For now, Adobe Digital Editions will have to act as the handshake between the two. Enjoy!

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