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How to read Kindle books on BlackBerry PlayBook

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  BrianSawyer's Photo
Posted Jul 11 2011 06:13 AM

On September 27, 2010, Amazon "announced that it will launch a Kindle app for the new BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer." It's still not here, and that's the reason my PlayBook is collecting dust. Though the tablet has a general app-shortage problem anyway, I'd actually take it with me for the few apps I do use if I could read on it. But I've come to rely on the Kindle platform to sync my reading experience across all of my devices, so the PlayBook will be all but useless to me until I can read my Kindle purchases on it.

Well, after more time and effort than I'd care to admit, I've finally found a stop-gap solution to read Kindle books on my PlayBook until the Kindle app appears in BlackBerry's App World. Here's how.


Note that this process is a bit of a hack and does not support the most important feature of the Kindle platform: syncing across devices. It'll get your Kindle books on your PlayBook, but it's no substitute for the actual app, for which I'm still growing more impatient.

First, if you haven't already, install the Kindle app for your PC or Mac (my instructions are specific to the Mac, but the process should be similar on the PC) and use Amazon's Manage Your Kindle page to send the Kindle book you want to read to your computer.

Now, download calibre ebook management software for your OS and open it. Select "Add books" -> "Add books from a single directory" from the top menu:

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Navigate to the directory where your computer stores your Kindle purchases and select the title you want to read. The Mac app stores them in [user]/Library/Application Support/Kindle/My Kindle Content. Note that some files have obvious filenames, while others ... not so much:

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Select the newly added book from the list (it should have an intuitive title now) and choose "Convert books" -> "Convert individually" from the top menu:

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Select EPUB as the output format and click OK:

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After a few seconds, you'll see an EPUB format of the book next to the MOBI version. Select "Click to open" to open the directory where calibre stores its files:

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Now that you have stripped your book of Amazon's DRM and converted to a format other ebook apps can read, you need to get it onto your PlayBook. Since BlackBerry still hasn't provided desktop sync for the Mac, I'm afraid you'll need to email the file to yourself.

My research has turned up only two real contenders for EPUB readers for the PlayBook: PlayEpub and EPUB Reader. I wish I could recommend one or the other, but each will do the job and each is kind of clunky, especially if you're used to the Kindle app on another device. Still, each one is only $1.99, so I'd recommend giving both a try and figuring out which one you like best.

To get your book on the PlayBook, open your email account and download the attached file from your message. Now, when you open PlayEpub or EPUB reader and choose "Available books:" -> Downloads or Import EPUB, respectively, each app will find and recognize the file in your Downloads directory. Add the file to your library, open it, and you're reading a Kindle file on your PlayBook!

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7 Replies

  Daniel Hall's Photo
Posted Jul 26 2011 03:48 AM

Actually, this only works on NON-DRM e-books. As stated on the calibre website, calibre does not support opening or viewing DRM e-books.

So, unfortunately, this process was only able to convert 2 of my 26 books.

Argh! Don't make me use the iPad! Come on Amazon, release the PB app!
  BrianSawyer's Photo
Posted Jul 26 2011 06:33 AM

Daniel, actually, all Kindle titles come burdened with DRM, which worked for me and was kind of the point of my whole article. Which format didn't work for you?
  BrianSawyer's Photo
Posted Aug 10 2011 05:41 AM

Amazon just released its Cloud Reader, which does not officially support the PlayBook Browser but does actually work. This is the best solution I've found so far.

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 : Dec 01 2011 08:20 AM
I wasn't able to use the cloud reader:

"Your web browser isn't supported yet. Download a browser below. "

Is there a way around this?
  auke's Photo
Posted Jan 21 2012 04:51 AM

Is it correct that you have to have wifi access to use the cloud reader? that is, you can't download from the kindle cloud onto your playbook so you can have the books there for an airplane flight or some other time without wifi access?
  Nora1661's Photo
Posted Sep 22 2012 06:55 PM

You Can also read Kindle Books on iPad, iPhone.
look at this article.

How to read Kindle books on iPad or iPhone

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  jarry zhang's Photo
Posted May 08 2013 10:34 PM

Thank you so much. The writer had provided a very useful and excellent quality article for us who like reading kindle books so much. I admit that Calibre is actually a powerful eBook conversion tool which supports mainstream eBook formats such as ePub, PDF, Mobi, AZW, HTMLZ, etc. But as we known, Calibre just can convert eBooks without DRM protection and it fails to convert eBooks protected by DRM. Then, fortunately, I had worte an article that the e-reader users can really learn it to convert your all kinds of eBook which even though were protected by any DRM. Here following is the tutorial, you may have a visit. http://www.epubor.co...ckberry-10.html