How to: Remove the 100 free books from Kobo eReader

My Mom got the Kobo eReader (Wireless) device two years ago for Christmas, and while she really enjoyed it, there were just too many books on it to find the recent ones that she purchased. I was recently given the device to try to find a way to remove the old books and if possible, add (import) new ones


I know from looking at the tech specs, that the device supported EPUB and MOBI formats, so I downloaded some free books from Project Gutenberg in the EPUB format.


Please Note: At the time of this writing, I am using Linux Ubuntu 11.10 (64bit) and the Kobo is using software v1.9 (r25373, March 29, 2011).


Following these steps I was very successful in removing the unwanted books, and importing new ones.  If you are running different software you may have to make some minor changes.

Here are the steps that I took:


Removing the 100 Free Books:

I found some instructions online, that had some pretty straight forward and simple instructions for clearing out the SQL table that held the free book information. The problem is that the instructions were for the Mac OS. Since the Mac OS and Linux are pretty close, I was able to follow them fairly easily.

Please make sure that the Kobo is fully charged, and if possible plug-in the Kobo and back-up your /KOBOeReader/.kobo/KoboReader.sqlite file. This is the file that contains information about the 100% free books, and if something goes wrong, you may have to restore it.


1) Install SQLite3

 Open a Terminal window and type:


# sudo apt-get install sqlite3

You will get a prompt asking you to type in your Root (sudo) password.  Once you have properly authenticated you will see a bunch of information similar to the section below:
[sudo] password for Admin: ****
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
Suggested packages:
The following NEW packages will be installed:
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 26.6 kB of archives.
After this operation, 188 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Get:1 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ oneiric/main sqlite3 amd64 3.7.7-2ubuntu2 [26.6 kB]
Fetched 26.6 kB in 0s (56.2 kB/s)
Selecting previously deselected package sqlite3.
(Reading database …
(Reading database … 249754 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking sqlite3 (from …/sqlite3_3.7.7-2ubuntu2_amd64.deb) …
Processing triggers for man-db …
Setting up sqlite3 (3.7.7-2ubuntu2) …


2) Use SQLite3 to modify the KoboReader.sqlite file to remove the 100 free books.

Plug-in the Kobo device, and when its mounted, open a Terminal window and type:
 # sqlite3 /Volumes/KOBOeReader/.kobo/KoboReader.sqlite “delete from content where ___userid != ‘adobe_user'”

(Make sure to change the /Volumes/KOBOeReader/ path to match where the mount places the Kobo.)


3) Demount the Kobo volume and unplug the Kobo from the computer.

The Kobo device should take 5-10 minutes to scan the book directory. When it is done, the device will no longer have the 100 free books, allowing you to find the purchased books easily.


How to add (import) books to the Kobo device:

1) Plug-in the Kobo device to your computer.

2) Once the device is mounted, create a folder on the device for your books. I created one simply called “Imports”

3) Copy your EPUB formated books to the new folder.

4) Demount the Kobo volume and unplug the Kobo from the computer.

HINT: Do not copy any files other then the EPUB files. JPG or PNG files seem to confuse the Kobo device, allowing the non-EPUB files to sometimes show up in the book list.