My one exasperation with having switched to Kobo is that there’s a bug in its built-in OverDrive functionality: every so often, but not very often, the two systems disgaree about what’s in OverDrive’s holdings, and a library loan simply refuses to appear on the Kobo.

Six days ago now, OverDrive checked out to me Future Tense Fiction. It’s there on OverDrive and it’s there on Kobo, same format (EPUB) and same ISBN (9781944700928). This is just how every other OverDrive title I’ve read on the Kobo has looked, and yet they’ve worked.

When looking at OverDrive on the Kobo itself, it sees no such title available at OverDrive. It does see the same title in its own online store.

Kobo, for their part, I guess still is working on the question, but I’ve not heard from them on it for days now. OverDrive simply keeps repeating the same nonsensical response: they don’t carry the title in “Kobo format”.

OverDrive has now pitched this nonsense explanation to me twice, but in reality they don’t carry any title in “Kobo format”. They carry ePub and if the same ePub is available in the Kobo store, you can borrow it on your Kobo directly without having to download it from OverDrive and side-load it on your Kobo device.

This is a baffling degree of apparent refusal to simply talk to one another for two companies that until recently both were owned by Rakuten, which is why the Kobo has been the only e-reader with built-in OverDrive functionality to begin with.


  1. The final word apparently is that the books must match in three ways: ISBN, publisher, and publish date. I’m almost certain that Kobo has an incorrect date listed; I remember last year when an October date got changed to a December one. Kobo, as near as I can tell, still has an old publish date listed and that’s causing a conflict.

Join the Conversation?

Hello. My name is Bix. @bix