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Topic: Calibre Libraries

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Subject: Calibre Libraries
Date Posted: 2/14/2013 9:15 AM ET
Member Since: 9/19/2006
Posts: 3,814
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Would someone please explain to me the how to and benefit of libraries within Calibre.

I open Calibre and all my titles show up.  I can create searches and save them.  I can use the Author or Series tags to find what I need.

Why would someone create a separate library?  How would it be listed in my Dropbox folder which is the path that all my ebooks are saved.

I love this program and I'm wondering if I'm missing something by not utilitizing the Library feature.

Date Posted: 2/14/2013 10:08 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Calibre saves the books in it's own database, in it's own way.  One big rule about using the program is....

NEVER TAMPER WITH THE DATABASE

It'll get screwed up if you rename or move files outside of the program.

But some people don't want their files stored or sorted in the same way Calibre does. I back up the Calibre library files as is, but that's really only good if you have Calibre to open them with. Outside of Calibre, the format and title choices may not be the best.

For example, Calibre sorts by Library, then author name, then book, then inside that file is the book, the cover and an opf file.

But I have a Nook, and can put my entire library on an SD card and read from there. (As opposed to being limited memory and file options and no SD card on my Kindle.) I want the books in 1) one epub file and 2) sorted in files based on the genre's I use. I don't use author names much, and never remember who wrote the book I want to read. So I want the files saved on the Nook to look like this....

Mys.Amateur/[Ace Adventures 01] - GEM-ipam

Mys. Amateur/[Adelhardt and Hidalgo 01] - Bartlett House-Poncy, Duane

Mys.Amateur/[Aggie Underhill 02] - Something's Fishy in Palm Springs-Hollstein, Michelle Ann

Mys.Amateur/[Aggie Underhill 04] - Hard Boiled Murder - Hollstein, Michelle Ann

 

Mys.Amateur is the genre (My Cosy mysteries) as the file name, the [] hold the series information, and after the title the - means author's name. With Calibre you can sent the book in just about any format you want, in what file names you want, with title, series and author names you want.

It's also handy to 'repair' documents. I download a lot of fanfic, and sometimes it has formatting problems. For now, I save it outside of Calibre as an RTF File, open it in word, fix it, save it as HTML, then load it back into Calibre. I know you can do that inside Calibre, but I can't get Word to open stuff up inside it yet, and it's just easier to do it outside.

But "Save To Disk" has a lot of options, and comes in handy for customising your books for other databases and eReaders.

Date Posted: 2/14/2013 10:19 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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I love this program and I'm wondering if I'm missing something by not utilitizing the Library feature.

Inside Calibre, the Library feature is just how you want to chunk up your files inside Calibre if you have a lot of them.

Right now, I have one library called AAAMain with my main book files in it. It's huge, and Calibre sorting on it can be a bit slow at times. But if I'm looking to see if I have something, it's easier to have them all in one file.

But I've also got a ton of Fanfic. My Sherlock Holmes Fanfic right now totals over 4,000 files, and that's when I've actually merged a lot of the small stuff into collections. So they're all sorted into my "Sherlock" library. I have to find missing bits of series, merge a lot of the smaller files together, and divide them up between fanfic for the BBC show, the Movies, The Books, The Russian Series, and the Neil Gaiman Sherlock Universe. Best to do all that sorting and processing in a different library then with the main books.

Also, some people share Calibre with family members. In that case, books are sorted into libraries for each member. And I have one Library for my Kindle, since it's the only one I have to have MOBI format copies.

And any books added to my database go to "ZZZZZ" to process and sort to the AAAMain, and fanfic goes to "YYYYY" before it's sorted to the right Library.

Using "Quick Switch" inside the Library button, you can pop in and out of any of the Libraries really quickly. And you can copy between Libraries all you want. Just make sure it has time to process.

 

Date Posted: 2/14/2013 10:42 AM ET
Member Since: 9/19/2006
Posts: 3,814
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Thanks Cindy!  Looks like I'll play around with it especially since I received a Kindle PaperWhite for Christmas.

I loved the NC that I had but it was bulky and heavy with the cover.  The Kindle paperwhite with the cover is so much lighter that I have no problem carrying everyday during my commute.  The NC made my messenger bag so much heavier.

So I've been converting my books from Epub to Mobi as I'm ready to sideload and read them on my Kindle.

Maybe I should start with a Library for my Mobi books as a test run.

I'd also like to play with "Save to Disk".  Is it exclusive to the Library.  For instance can I continue to save my current library in the default structure but in my Mobi library can I have it saved a different way such as the way you listed your Nook directory.

BTW, could you put down the syntax for the way you're saving it as described?  I'd like something to start with and play around with.

One final question: say I start with "Save to Disk" in one folder structure but decide I don't like that structure.  If I change the structure syntax will it then convert the entire folder structure to the new way or are you stuck with the way you started?

 

Date Posted: 2/14/2013 11:15 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Is it exclusive to the Library.  For instance can I continue to save my current library in the default structure but in my Mobi library can I have it saved a different way such as the way you listed your Nook directory.

"Save to Disk" is always outside the Calibre Files, somewhere on your computer.

Now, if you want to change names on a file when you sent it to a specific eReader, go to [Preferences] ->>[Sending Books to Devices].

You can tell it how to arrange the Title/Author/Tag information there.

And if you go to [Preferences] --> [Plugins] --> [Device Interface Plugins] -->[Kindle 2/3/4/Touch/Paperwhite Device Interface]--> Customize plugin there are even more selections for how the books look there.

But be CAREFUL. Calibre doesn't have an 'UNDO" button. So I'd make a small library to experiment with and leave good copies in their original Library. Even better, back up the whole thing before experimenting.

For the Kindle, I've found the easiest thing to do is to give it it's own Library (so I don't have to have Mobi conversions of everything) and just keep in it copies of the books I'll be reading on the Kindle there. And if you keep it full, it'll help you see how many files you can add. I've got mine now full, so if I want to add a book I know I have to subtract one. Then transfer one Genre at a time. Unplug. Sort all the new books to the top and pop them into that Collection. Loading and filing one Collection, for me, is easier than trying to pick them all out later.

The program is great (except for no undo button! Oh, how I've needed that....) but documentation really is bad. The programmers all like to add to it, but hardly anyone ever documents how to work the new stuff. The web site is old and hard to navigate, and I'm not sure, but think the latest person to try to document how to do everything may have given up.

You need to experiment, but backup every single time. You'll be crying if you make a mistake and don't have a backup to go to.

 

 

Date Posted: 2/14/2013 11:19 AM ET
Member Since: 9/19/2006
Posts: 3,814
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Thanks a bunch, I'll play with it!