Kobo Clara HD

Last modified on 2018-12-30

I received a Kobo Clara HD as a Christmas gift this year. Its my first purpose-built ebook reader and after using it a few days I like it! Device has a sharp 300ppi E-Ink touchscreen that is very comfortable for reading and purportedly will last weeks on a charge (we’ll see).

A few interesting bits …

Add first epub

Kobo behaves like a USB removable storage device. Connect via USB cable to my laptop …

$ dmesg -t
usb 1-2: new high-speed USB device number 2 using xhci_hcd
usb 1-2: New USB device found, idVendor=2237, idProduct=4228
usb 1-2: New USB device strings: Mfr=3, Product=4, SerialNumber=5
usb 1-2: Product: eReader-4.8.10959
usb 1-2: Manufacturer: Kobo
usb 1-2: SerialNumber: Nxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
usb-storage 1-2:1.0: USB Mass Storage device detected
scsi host6: usb-storage 1-2:1.0
scsi 6:0:0:0: Direct-Access     Linux    File-Stor Gadget 0401 PQ: 0 ANSI: 2
sd 6:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg2 type 0
sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] 14393341 512-byte logical blocks: (7.37 GB/6.86 GiB)
sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] Write Protect is off
sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] Mode Sense: 0f 00 00 00
sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] Write cache: enabled, read cache: enabled, doesn't support DPO or FUA

Mount (I use pmount with no partition numbers, i.e. sdb not sdb1) …

$ pmount /dev/sdb

Copy epub files to the root directory of the Kobo, or create a folder (except hidden folders starting with “.”, which Kobo will not look in) to store epubs. I create a library folder and copy over an epub …

$ mkdir /media/sdb/library
$ cp some_book.epub /media/sdb/library/

Unmount the Kobo, disconnect USB cable, and the Kobo adds the new epub to My Books.

Update firmware

After connecting to a wifi access point, device auto-syncs and prompts to update firmware. Installs version 4.12.12111 (2018-12-11) and reboots.

Natural light

Tap on the Light icon, enable the Natural light feature, and Kobo adjusts the light colour spectrum over the course of the day from blue-white light to more orange-yellow in the evening hours. Blue light emitted by electronic devices has an impact on melatonin, which in turn has a negative impact on sleep, so the warmer colours are more welcome for bedtime reading.

Libraries and Overdrive

Firmware version 4.10+ added Overdrive integration to the device. My library, the Toronto Public Library, uses the Overdrive service to lend ebooks to its patrons.

Go to Settings > OverDrive > Get Started to setup account with library card details. The library ebook collection is integrated into the device’s Kobo Store with its own dedicated tab.