Managing big e-book libraries: How do you do it?

Managing big e-book libraries: How do you do it?

Summary: There must be a convenient digital method to keep track of e-book libraries that cross multiple retailers, but I haven't found it yet. How about you? Do you have a method to track multiple e-book libraries that is easy to implement?

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TOPICS: Mobility, Hardware
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I jumped on the e-book wagon when it first appeared on the mobile horizon, perhaps a decade ago. I remember discovering the benefits of reading books on my Palm XV, purchased from the Peanut Press. I found I read far more than I ever did with paper books because I always had my Palm with me, followed by various Pocket PCs. Peanut Press became Palm Digital Media and rolled my growing e-book library over so I could still access my purchases. Then eReader took it over and my library survived that move, where it still lives today even though eReader is now a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble.

There are almost 500 books in that library, all of them read and enjoyed over the years. I visit them from time to time to reread personal favorites, an ability I hope never disappears but truth is the entire library could disappear at any time should B&N choose to take it away. I shudder to think about that possibility, but it's a fact of digital life.

These days I get my e-books from the Kindle store, as I appreciate how easy it is to shop for them and read them on multiple devices with WhisperSync keeping my place automatically. I read on tablets, PCs and smartphones without missing a single bookmark. My Kindle library is growing steadily, and will rival the size of that original collection before too long.

I imagine there are quite a few e-book readers like me, who have gathered a large collection of books that crosses multiple online retailers. While online collections are easy to maintain when only one retailer is involved, it's not so straightforward when books have been purchased from multiple retailers. That turns a simple collection into multiple libraries that don't talk to one another, and for voracious readers that can lead to the dreaded situation of buying a book that has been already purchased (and read) on another retailer's site.

There must be a convenient digital method to keep track of multiple e-book libraries, but I haven't found it yet. How about you? Do you have a method to track multiple e-book libraries that is easy to implement and maintain? TalkBack to me about how you do it.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware

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  • RE: Managing big e-book libraries: How do you do it?

    I am fortunately a latecomer to e-books so all mine are from B&N and likely to be readable as long as I will need them. An interesting side topic would be e-book prices. Last night I went to order a book and found the e-book cost a bit more than the hardcover edition ($19.99). E-book prices seem to still be the wild frontier. Some less than the paperback, others more than the hardcover edition.
    Admin71
  • RE: Managing big e-book libraries: How do you do it?

    Calibre and Aldiko to the rescue!
    aquastubacca
    • RE: Managing big e-book libraries: How do you do it?

      @aquastubacca
      Yep, Calibre is probably the best one for library keeping
      raul.vejar@...
  • RE: Managing big e-book libraries: How do you do it?

    Have a library that started as everything from ascii text to PDF. Currently use B&N and nookcolor, with Google and the Gutenburg project as well. So Calibre is a absolute requirement.

    Just starting to use Android as a platform, so thanks to aquastubacca for the pointer to Aldiko.
    dahlstedt
  • RE: Managing big e-book libraries: How do you do it?

    I use Kovid Goval's Calibre ebook Management http://calibre-ebook.com/ (free) on my PC to manage multiple formats of ebooks from multiple sources.
    possyposs
  • RE: Managing big e-book libraries: How do you do it?

    I like using iBooks. I've got over a hundred books in ePub and PDF format, they are easy to import and easy to sync with my devices. I can decide which ones I want to carry around or which I am done with. I had gotten about 30 books from the Borders ebook store, those were easily transferrable to iBooks. I had to download a bunch of files for the Borders desktop program to redownload the items and resync them to work with the iPhone, as the in-app purchases from the Borders app all got gibberish corrupted book formats that wouldn't open. Had to delete the app and reinstall and redownload the items. When I synced, the Borders tech support person told me I had to carry all the items with me or delete them permanently, no intermediate storage allowed in one place and not another. That was the final straw, moved the items to the other book reader management in iTunes. I have some ebooks that I purchased from Amazon (not via Kindle), that had DRM issues and no longer work on my laptop. I also have some ebooks that I bought directly from the author, just put them in the directory and import into iTunes. So far that is working for me. They just came out with some more options for organizing collections that I have not played with yet.
    teetee1970
  • RE: Managing big e-book libraries: How do you do it?

    Will check Calibre and Aldiko for e-books but I was wondering whether someone can suggest something for a large collection of academic papers/articles
    jcr8517
  • DRM world vs other

    Can Alkido or Calibre deal with books from Amazon?
    From what I can tell they can't. That is a deal killer. I don't want any dead tree versions around so I utilize all sources.

    I havn't used the kindle reader on iOS in a while but the one on Android is still somewhat limited. I need the ability to at least organize my reading in categories and would really prefer labeling with a common set of queries.

    I'd also like the all the kindle readers I've used deal with samples better. If I buy a sample put me back where I finished dammit.

    Managing PDFs on my Android tablet is a bit deal for me at the moment. I collect them like dirt. I want to tag them, put them in the right place, and when I get back to them have my last reading location saved.
    tahoemph
    • RE: Managing big e-book libraries: How do you do it?

      Calibre can deal with Amazon books. The only thing you can't do is change the book metadata and copy to different formats. But, your DRM'd Amazon book can definitely be cataloged by Calibre.
      M.M.Grimes
  • Where's the rub?

    Hi

    You should keep all your ebooks on your PC and back it up regularily. Personally I keep a folder with all my ebooks subdivided into subjects / file formats. When I want to read a few ebooks I either transfer the files to iBooks or Stanza or GoodReader on my iPad.

    Regards
    YP_Whale