Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Ads by Google

ebook managerElectronic media is no doubt more prevalent today than it ever has been. The Internet is at the core of it all, and because of it we have eBooks, web articles, and news from electronic magazines and newspapers. With all of this content that we are taking in, how can we manage it all?

Sadly, most of us don’t. We forget that one article that we wanted to read or lose the eBook we downloaded to our computer (of course that is more about file management Creating Order From Chaos: 9 Great Ideas For Managing Your Computer Files Creating Order From Chaos: 9 Great Ideas For Managing Your Computer Files It's frustrating isn’t it when you can’t find that file? When you’ve searched every folder imaginable on your computer, and somehow it got lost….or worse, deleted. Now, there are excellent search tools for Windows that... Read More ). Or perhaps we just don’t have a tool to easily take care of all the information, despite our efforts to be organized. Thankfully, Calibre takes care of all of those problems and more.

ebook manager

First off, there is an abundant amount of articles about Calibre on MakeUseOf. This is because the entire eBook manager cannot be contained in one article – there’s so much it can do and so much to cover that it literally needed its own guide on MakeUseOf DOWNLOAD Open Book: Managing Your eBooks With Calibre DOWNLOAD Open Book: Managing Your eBooks With Calibre Find yourself collecting eBooks, but not sure how to manage them all? "Open Book: Your Guide to Calibre and eBook Management" is the free download you've been looking for. This guide, from author Lachlan Roy,... Read More . Simon wrote an excellent article Calibre - Mighty eBook Management Software Calibre - Mighty eBook Management Software Read More regarding the first initial steps of using Calibre from creating and managing your library using Metadata to converting different eBook formats. That’s one thing I want to briefly say – Calibre supports pretty much every eBook format imaginable.

Go Portable

ebook manager software

We all know that Calibre is a great program for all platforms, but maybe you don’t know that you can throw it on a flash drive and bring your library with you – brilliant. What’s even more brilliant is using it along with PortableApps, which if you don’t know what that is, I highly recommend you check it out PortableApps.com Suite: The Best Portable Applications Manager & Database PortableApps.com Suite: The Best Portable Applications Manager & Database Portable applications are no secret – they have grown in popularity as their benefits continually become more well known. PortableApps.com should be given a lot of credit for this. Sure there are several portable application... Read More .

Ads by Google

It is important to note, however, that the portable version only runs on Windows. Again, this is only the case for the portable version – the normal version runs on Windows, Mac and Linux.

ebook manager software

Also, another great way to go portable is through Dropbox, which Justin wrote an extensive piece on Combine Dropbox & Calibre For Universal Access To All Your E-Books Combine Dropbox & Calibre For Universal Access To All Your E-Books Read More .

Go Plug In

ebook manager software

Calibre has an abundant amount of plugins available to your disposal. There’s practically everything you could want, so keep that in mind as I touch upon some of the neat ones that I like. Perhaps the one you are looking for won’t be covered in this article, but that doesn’t mean that Calibre doesn’t have it.

The first thing I really like is quite simple, but important – the plugin database is integrated within Calibre. There’s no going to several different third-party sites, scouring through forums or performing Google search after Google search in the hopes that you will find what you’re looking for. Now, I’m not saying you will never have to do that because frankly that’s not a promise I can keep, however I am saying that there are a lot of plugins available that will likely quench your customization thirst.

ebook manager software review

Another great thing that I like is the options which you are given even for adding a plugin. At first you might think, “What do I do?!” But as you actually read through each option, it becomes apparent that Calibre is giving you control of where you are able to access the plugins at. It’s really quite nice.

Now let’s get down to a couple different plugins that I think are fantastic.

Remove DRM From eBooks

ebook manager software review

Why would you want to remove DRM (Digital Rights Management) from your eBooks? Simply to read them on any device of course.

Remember when I said that you rarely have to find plugins from other websites, etc. for Calibre? This is an exception. The plugin to do this isn’t in Calibre itself, however it is still easily accessible since I will provide the link. Basically this process isn’t incredibly complicated if you can follow directions. If not, it might be a bit difficult.

After reading how to do this, I specifically found articles for the Kindle and Nook, being the two most popular models, however it seems the process would be similar for other eReaders as well. To explain the whole procedure would literally require a whole other article, therefore I will simply point you in the right direction.

The Kindle and Nook directions (which I’ve linked to) are both similar and Windows-only. However, there are directions to do this on the Mac as well. The name of the plugin is Apprentice Alf which is on a WordPress-hosted blog, that covers lots of information regarding DRM and how to get around it. Thankfully, you’re not left hanging to figure this out on your own as they have included directions to add Apprentice Alf to Calibre too.

Merge & Split eBooks

ebook manager software review

I was stoked whenever I discovered the ability to do this. Have you ever wanted to combine more than one publication, perhaps from the same author or source? Now with a plugin you can. Or how about splitting a book into two? You can do that too! There might be several plugins that can do this, but the two I am most familiar with are aptly named “EpubMerge” and “EpubSplit”.

Remember that if the format isn’t in ePub, you must first convert it, which Simon covered in his article on Calibre Calibre - Mighty eBook Management Software Calibre - Mighty eBook Management Software Read More .

Sync With Goodreads

If you aren’t familiar with Goodreads, it’s a social book reading site Track the Books You Have (and Want To) Read with Goodreads Track the Books You Have (and Want To) Read with Goodreads Read More that allows you to connect with other authors and readers alike, track reading progress and rate the books you’ve read. Instead of rating, organizing and setting dates which you’ve read the book both in Calibre and Goodreads, this plugin allows you to do it in one and sync to the other. Quite handy if you already use Goodreads, and who knows, if you don’t, maybe you’ll find it useful.

Go Customize

Customizing Calibre is a breeze. To access the different options, click on the big Preferences button (with the gears). A window will appear with several different categories – Interface, Conversion, Import/Export, Sharing and Advanced. At the bottom there is one more feature and that is a button to run the welcome wizard. This is great if you quickly breezed pass the installation and wanted to take time to look more into other options later.

Here you can choose/change the library folder…

The eReader device…

And set up Calibre to send books to your Kindle wireless – awesome!

Now back to the main interface, I won’t go into all of the options here, however I will say you won’t be disappointed. There could likely be a whole other article just on the options of Calibre. As you can see, it’s all very customizable from the position of the buttons on the toolbar (Interface > Toolbar) to tweaking how Calibre works with your eBooks (Advanced > Tweaks)

Conclusion: Go Read

No not that way! (although we have shared on MakeUseOf – also by Justin – how to send entire newspapers to your eBook Reader With Calibre Download Entire Newspapers or Blogs To Your eBook Reader With Calibre Download Entire Newspapers or Blogs To Your eBook Reader With Calibre Read More ).

This way:

ebook manager

Honestly, I’m not sure what enticed me to put “go” in front of everything or use miniature all-white people with no face, but it seems to work. The bottom line is that you should use Calibre. Why? Because although it is chock-full of features and customizations and it’s actually incredibly easy to use, allowing you to spend less time learning how to use it and more time managing and reading your books.

With that said, what are your thoughts on the Calibre ebook manager? Have you tried it? Will you? In my opinion it’s the best eBook manager available. Do you agree? Disagree? We’re looking forward to your thoughts in the comments below!

Image Credits: 3D Character With USB Flash Drive via Shutterstock, 3D Character With Electric Plug via Shutterstock, 3D Character With Gears via Shutterstock, 3D Character Reading Newspaper via Shutterstock, 3D Character With Tablet via Shutterstock, 3D Character With Key via Shutterstock

  1. Al Adams
    July 8, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    Clarification -- Very Nice Article Aaron Couch, I was Looking for the ePub & PDF Downloads of this Article, for Archive Reference - I Fully Understand Why the calibre Library Structure is the Way it is, I had Issues in the Early Days with This, But Think about it Logically, if You Kept Your Own Folder Structure, with Pointers, and Lost Your Library, either Your Folders or the Links to the calibre Library from Your Folder - What a Mess....

    If You Use the Power of the calibre Library Structure, You Can Backup Your Entire calibre Library to a Flash Drive with the Portable version of calibre on that SAME FLASH DRIVE !!!

    I do This Regularly I have 4 Minimum Flash Drives with this Setup - My Entire calibre Library BOTH on Flash Drives and on the Windows Ten PC Has All the SAME eBooks - Authors etc. And, They are ALL the Same - ie - My Backups Can Also, RUN FROM ANY WINDOWS PC from the Flash Drive Backup calibre Library I Have !!

    Do You Have Your ENTIRE calibre Library, Plugins - calibre Program and Library on More than ONE FLASH DRIVE and Your PC Too - I DO !!! Aaron All the BEST !!!

  2. Al Adams
    July 8, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    Very Nice Article Aaron Couch, I was Looking for the ePub & PDF Downloads of this Article, for Archive Reference - I Fully Understand Why the caliber Library Structure is the Way it is, I had Issues in the Early Days with This, But Think about it Logically, if You Kept Your Own Folder Structure, with Pointers, and Lost Your Library, either Your Folders or the Links to the calibre Library from Your Folder - What a Mess. If You Use the Power of the calibre Library Structure, You Can Backup Your Entire calibre Library to a Flash Drive with the Portable version of calibre on that SAME FLASH DRIVE !!! I do This Regularly I have 4 Minimum - My Entire calibre Library BOTH on Flash Drives and on the Windows Ten PC Has All the SAME eBooks - Authors etc. And They are ALL the Same - ie - My Backups, RUN FROM ANY WINDOWS PC from the Flash Drive Backup calibre Libraries, I Have Do You Have Your ENTIRE calibre on More than ONE FLASH DRIVE and Your PC - I DO !!!

  3. Angel Dan
    December 4, 2015 at 3:51 am

    Calibre is powerful, but the interface is a little ugly I think, and especially when I used Plugin to remove DRM, I think it a little complicated.

    I used an alternative, epubor ultimate eBook converter.

  4. Donald Richardson
    March 17, 2013 at 5:50 am

    There is so much info on MUO that I have only just found this! This is one I really must have! Thanks for this post.

  5. Jeremy Garnett
    February 7, 2013 at 3:03 am

    Thanks. I didn't know about the plugins.

  6. Loris Johnston
    January 26, 2013 at 4:26 am

    I have used calibre in the past. For the third time, I experienced a total loss of library. You CAN reinstate the library from metadata db. It DOES NOT reinstate your own catalogues (categories). If you have a large library, to redo this is time consuming to say the least. When I contacted calibre regarding this, the only thing they had to say was that the library could be restored from the metadata (which I stated in my original communication that I had done). Further in the same communication said that my "bug" was invalid. I have a library of a little over 300 books at the moment. Imagine a 10,000 book library!

  7. Heather
    January 23, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    The only reason I'm not using it is that it makes duplicates of files you already have. Why does everything have to be in Calibre's specified folder? Can't it just make a database of file locations for ebooks elsewhere in your hard drive? I don't want to fully rely on a management system for organizing ebooks, it should also respect how I organize my files into intuitive folders.

    • Dan
      January 27, 2013 at 10:54 pm

      This is one of the most frequently asked questions on mobilereads.

      Unfortunately the calibre community is not only completely set in their way, they are disgustingly arrogant about it.

      Their typical answer is that people who don't see the calibre way are stupid and that calibre is not for them.

      Imagine an mp3 player, that would copy all imported mp3s into its own file structure. That would be totally ridiculous.

      Calibre could be a nice program, but as long as you have to copy all files into their structure and can't keep links to outside files, exactly like any other media library does, it's just unusable.

      And no, having a database with tagging and search etc. does not require all files to be kept in a black box.

      -1 for the arrogant and unhelpful community.

      • Aaron Couch
        January 27, 2013 at 11:12 pm

        Dan & Heather,

        You both bring very valid points and thank you for sharing this. It's too bad that it isn't different, but hopefully it will change in the near future.

        Thanks again for commenting.

        • Dan
          February 1, 2013 at 5:26 am

          Hi Aaron,

          Here is their official answer:
          http://manual.calibre-ebook.com/faq.html#why-doesn-t-app-let-me-store-books-in-my-own-directory-structure

          "If you are still not convinced, then I’m afraid calibre is not for you. Look elsewhere for your book cataloguing needs. Just so we’re clear, this is not going to change. Kindly do not contact us in an attempt to get us to change this."

          But after all I am very optimistic about them relenting at some point.

          They say that if you sort your folders by author, you can't access them by subject, and that sorting in calibre is much more powerful than by file folder.
          Of course, that's totally right, but that's what you want to use calibre for, so you can browse independently from your folders.

          Whether the files are stored inside of calibre's black box, or in your folders is in no way related to how they are indexed by calibre. You could still search for a book by author, date, tag, subject or whatever you like, just that the path points to your external folder!!!!!!

          And if you have accidentally moved a file, calibre could just ask for the new location of the file.
          I'd say nearly every media library (zotero, itunes, media player) works that way.

          I tried zotero, and it does exactly do what calibre says can't be done: It does all the indexing, tagging and sorting for you, but allows you to keep files in your own folders. If it only had an interface as nice as calibre!

          I for example already have a big library, and can't risk to destroy the order that I have by importing everything into calibre.

          There is just too much risk involved, I don't want to experience what Loris did.
          My library contains many years worth of collecting and scanning thousands of documents, I am not going to trust any program to move them around and rename them.

          I often use google desktop search my files, and then look around in the same folder for related things. With calibre, this workflow would break.

          Another thing reason to keep books outside of the black box is that you may want to keep them together with other stuff, like the extras that came with the book.

          Thanks for your review. I totally agree btw. and think calibre is the best program out there for books. My annoyance is because I can't use it for my large existing library.

          cheers,

          dan

  8. Terafall
    November 6, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Calibre is great.For me it's like vlc for ebooks

  9. Jeremiah Iliffe
    October 28, 2012 at 8:09 am

    I've got to say I love Calibre.. use it for everything even though I have a kindle

  10. Siddhant Chaurasia
    October 23, 2012 at 7:10 am

    Calibre has a really nice UI

  11. Debbie Strain
    October 22, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Very Interesting article. I am just now getting into ebooks and audible books. I am very old fashioned and like to read with a nice paperback however the digital age is catching up with me. I am currently using Mantano Reader Lite on my tablet and phone after reading a review here. I will be trying Calibre and hope it is easy to use.

    • Aaron Couch
      October 24, 2012 at 8:08 pm

      Debbie,

      Although Calibre can be an eBook reader, it probably doesn't excel at that as much as it does an eBook manager.

      Thanks for the comment!

  12. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    October 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Calibre is so good after you accept the fact that you'll not be able to sort your books in your own file structure. I agree that it's better Calibre's way, but my OCD has been keeping me away from the library folder. I can't stand the mess created, folder management-wise. Aside of my personal quirks, I do recommend it to anyone. It's very powerful once you've added plugins to suit your needs.

    • Aaron Couch
      October 24, 2012 at 8:07 pm

      Hey Lisa,

      Thanks for sharing your insight! You have a valid point for sure.

  13. Boni Oloff
    October 22, 2012 at 10:53 am

    I am already a long time do use Calibre, all my books collection is safed in a good way.

  14. Anonymous
    October 20, 2012 at 12:15 am

    Use this all the time.

  15. Suzi Love
    October 19, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    I'd heard about Calibre but never tried it. Now I'm definitely going to use it.
    Suzi Love

    • Aaron Couch
      October 24, 2012 at 8:09 pm

      Thanks for reading Suzi! Let me know what you think of it!

  16. Anonymous
    October 19, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    I totally rely on Calibre. One feature I like is the conversion; I can convert files into or out of epub as needed with the click of my mouse.

    • Aaron Couch
      October 24, 2012 at 8:10 pm

      Thanks for commenting Ellen and sharing your personal user experience. I agree - it definitely excels in that area!

  17. amit gaurav
    October 19, 2012 at 3:50 am

    Going to download the same now.. Was looking for a link but will search google..

    • Aaron Couch
      October 24, 2012 at 8:12 pm

      Oops. I apologize for not including one! That is my mistake. You have probably downloaded it by now (if so, feel free to provide your user experience and feedback), but in case you haven't, here's the download link. It's also available on the Best Of app page for Windows.

      Download: http://calibre-ebook.com/download

  18. howard wolowitz
    October 18, 2012 at 5:31 am

    i will recomend this to my freinds

  19. howard wolowitz
    October 18, 2012 at 5:30 am

    much better than the adobe thing

  20. howard wolowitz
    October 18, 2012 at 5:30 am

    wow calibre is awesome

  21. Ritwick Saikia
    October 17, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Calibre is a great software really done well. 'Nuff said - time to get reading

    • Aaron Couch
      October 24, 2012 at 8:13 pm

      Couldn't agree more! Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

  22. Edwin Williams
    October 16, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Thanks! I love Calibre and use it for my ebooks on my kindle!

    • Aaron Couch
      October 24, 2012 at 8:13 pm

      Not a problem! Thanks for reading Edwin!

  23. Mani Bhooshan
    October 16, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    This tool is really helpful. I recommend it who has any eBook reader.

    I create TOC in the end for the books which has very large number of pages in TOC.

  24. Mitchell C. Swan
    October 16, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Cute little icons. They look friendly. Too bad that fella trying to push the "Go Customize" gears ain't gonna make it two inches before those interlocked gears seize up.

    I've driving my own campaign to rid graphic design of stupid people.

    • Aaron Couch
      October 24, 2012 at 8:24 pm

      Haha I love your humor. If only that guy knew what he was in for once that happened...

  25. Drew Sylvester
    October 16, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    I use Calibre on my macbook to remove drm and serve my books on dropbox--that way I can get to them from anywhere I have an internet connection, on any device I choose.

    • Aaron Couch
      October 24, 2012 at 8:24 pm

      Bam! Right on Drew! Thanks for sharing your experience with us and your fellow readers!

  26. M Prindle
    October 16, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    I started using Calibre earlier this year and it works great! I have it installed on multiple machines and my books are stored on DropBox so all the machines have a copy of them. When I purchase new books from Amazon I run them through the DRM stripper so I can read them on other non-Amazon readers like the reader in Calibre.

    • Aaron Couch
      October 24, 2012 at 8:23 pm

      Sounds like you are a master of eBooks and Calibre! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and insight.

  27. Yiz Borol
    October 16, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    YES! very nice guide, even though I'm already using calibre I often direct friends to it, and this just saved me a couple hours of setup and explanation

    • Aaron Couch
      October 24, 2012 at 8:22 pm

      Don't you love it when you can do that? :) Thanks for sharing our articles! We definitely appreciate your support and dedication.

  28. ion popa
    October 16, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Oh! Thanks for mention about DRM removing. Quite useful. Thanks again!

    • Aaron Couch
      October 24, 2012 at 8:22 pm

      Not a problem! Thanks for reading!

  29. Deekshith Allamaneni
    October 16, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Thanks for explaining about this in detail. I am gonna run this on Linux (Ubuntu).

    • Aaron Couch
      October 24, 2012 at 8:21 pm

      That's what we do here at MUO :) Let us know what you think! Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

  30. David Fielder
    October 16, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    I've been using this app for a while on my mac to manage my kindle ebooks

  31. Ahmed Khalil
    October 16, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    it is my favourit from long time, thanks for sharing

  32. Harry Barnes
    October 16, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    awesome article, i'll download it now!

  33. Anonymous
    October 16, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Calibre looks very useful and I will try it for sure. But who reads books continuously for more than one hour on computer screen?

    • Aaron Couch
      October 24, 2012 at 8:26 pm

      Actually, Calibre isn't as much as an eBook reader as it is an eBook manager for your eReader devices like the Kindle or tablets. It CAN be an eBook reader on your computer, but I personally find it more useful to manage my books which I then read on my Kindle.

      Thanks for your comment!

  34. josemon maliakal
    October 16, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    I am using this cool soft for a long time..it is awesome, for installing it in Ubuntu follow the steps http://www.texplod.com/install-calibre-to-your-ubuntu-machine/

  35. Mac Witty
    October 16, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Haven't used Calibre for years but this article gave me motivation to do it again. Calibre has grown during the last years

    • Aaron Couch
      October 24, 2012 at 8:20 pm

      It certainly has! In some ways it hasn't changed a bit, but in other ways it has. And the changes which have been made have definitely been for the best. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

  36. Vishal Mishra
    October 16, 2012 at 9:49 am

    yes calibre is the best book managing software.

  37. Harish Jonnalagadda
    October 16, 2012 at 8:40 am

    Thanks for the info! Have been using calibre for all my ebook needs! Wonderful utility if ever there was one.

    • Aaron Couch
      October 24, 2012 at 8:21 pm

      You're welcome! And thanks for sharing your thoughts on it!

  38. Bruce Thomas
    October 16, 2012 at 5:54 am

    No doubt in my mind that Calibre is the best e-book manager. Every morning I have news downloaded from several favorite sites. All of my e-books and pdf files are logged, tagged and easy to find now. I'm still learning about this feature-rich management tool. I learned about it on MakeUseOf, so thanks for alerting me to another useful tool

    • Aaron Couch
      October 24, 2012 at 8:19 pm

      You're definitely welcome Bruce! Glad to here we have helped you become more productive. Thanks for reading!

  39. Rene Gatdula
    October 16, 2012 at 4:29 am

    ..oh lame me...I've been reading ebooks and this is the first time I heard about Calibre..:-(

    • Aaron Couch
      October 24, 2012 at 8:17 pm

      Haha well now is the time to start! And don't feel bad - it happens to all of us :)

      If you decide to use it, let me know what you think! I'd like to hear your thoughts as an avid eBook reader!

  40. Nikhil Chandak
    October 16, 2012 at 4:24 am

    amazing Calibre !!

  41. Brian Mok
    October 16, 2012 at 3:39 am

    Awesome! I used to use Calibre on Linux. I found it a little hard to navigate and stuff. Trying it out again on Windows thanks to this article. Thanks!

    • Aaron Couch
      October 24, 2012 at 8:19 pm

      Brian,

      You are welcome. Let me know what you think after trying it on Windows!

  42. KatyaR
    October 16, 2012 at 3:13 am

    I LOVE Calibre! I use it almost every day. I recommend it to everyone who buys an ereader or tablet.Thanks for all the info--I'm sure there's a lot here I don't know about.

    • Harish Jonnalagadda
      October 16, 2012 at 8:39 am

      Yeah me too. Never come across a more useful utility for ebook management.

    • Aaron Couch
      October 24, 2012 at 8:18 pm

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! There's a TON to know about Calibre and I certainly wasn't able to cover it all in this article, but like I said there is an eBook for learning Calibre so definitely check it out!

      Thanks for reading :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *