Combine Dropbox & Calibre For Universal Access To All Your E-Books

dropbox calibre   Combine Dropbox & Calibre For Universal Access To All Your E BooksYour eBook library, synced across all of your computers, regardless of what operating system you use. That’s what you get when you mix Calibre, the ultimate in ebook management with Dropbox, the ultimate file syncing application. Since Calibre and Dropbox both work on Linux, Mac and Windows you can read your books anywhere. All of your books will be synced across all of your devices, including your bookmarks (if you use Calibre’s built-in reader app).

Electronic books are great, particularly if you know where to find free eBooks. But if you own multiple computers that you like to read on, running multiple operating systems, reading electronically can be a touch annoying.


Combining Dropbox and Calibre automatically puts all of your ebooks on all of your computers. Sit down at any machine and find all of your books. Books don’t take up as much room as movies or music, so your Dropbox won’t fill up too quickly. Heck, you can even open your books on your iPhone or iPad if you want.

Step 1: Get Dropbox

The first thing you need to do is set up Dropbox, assuming you haven’t already. Don’t worry; it’s painless. Just head over to Dropbox and sign up for an account. Once you do you’ll be given a program to download. Set this up on your computer and you’re pretty much good to go.

dropbox   Combine Dropbox & Calibre For Universal Access To All Your E Books

Dropbox can do a lot of things, and you can learn all about it in the unofficial Dropbox guide. For now, all you need to know is that files in your Dropbox are synced to all of your computers.

Step 2: Move Your Library

Do you already use Calibre? If not, go ahead and download Calibre. During the installation process you’ll see a window like this:

calibre changelibrary   Combine Dropbox & Calibre For Universal Access To All Your E Books

Be sure to set the library to be a folder in your Dropbox, named however you like. If you already use Calibre you’re going to need to move your library. The simplest way to do this is run the welcome wizard, which you’ll find under preferences:

calibre wizard   Combine Dropbox & Calibre For Universal Access To All Your E Books

This will give you the option to re-define where your library is; point it toward a folder in your Dropbox. You may need to move your books to the new location after doing this, but it’s worth it!

Step 3: Repeat As Necessary

Done? Fantastic! Now repeat the process on every computer you own. Once you install Dropbox on a second computer you’ll find that your library is automatically synced to it. Simply tell Calibre where it can find your library. As Calibre stores the database and your books in the same folder, your library will automatically sync across all of your computers.

Optional: iPad/iPhone Support

Is syncing across your computers not enough for you? Well, you can access your Dropbox’d ebooks on your iPhone or iPad as well. Just follow the directions over at teleread to find out how. This won’t give you the ability to sync your bookmarks, but it’s a cool way to get access to your ebook collection on the go.

Conclusion

We’ve certainly talked about unique and cool ways to use Dropbox before, but find myself thinking of new ones all the time.

Could you use this to sync your library, or is your personal library too massive? Do you have any other cool Dropbox ideas? As always, feel free to share in the comments below!

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22 Comments -

0 votes

Wilson Davalos

I’ve been using this method for sometime, on my Android. I actually like using the Adobe PDF App to read my ebooks. I hope that more people will take advantage of this.

0 votes

Frivas

This is my method too, from the begining…

0 votes

EM

I’d done this already, and I can really recommend it. Until I get an ebook reader, my netbook has to function as one when I’m traveling, and this is the best way of using it for reading without extra work.

0 votes

Jason Clark

Use caution doing this. Dropbox is a caps sensitive backend in a non caps sensitive world, so occasionally when adding a book dropbox will munge the folder name and you will lose the book in your library browser. Example
Say you have a book by Neil Stephenson and one by neil stephenson. When you add this into your library, dropbox will get a little pissy and make one of those directories read neil stephenson(Case Conflict). The data is still there, but since the directory name changed, calibre can’t find it anymore. Just be cautious in how you enter your authors and you wont have a problem. I’ve been doing this for a year myself and once I figured out where all of my books were going and why, I haven’t had a problem since.

0 votes

Jason Clark

Use caution doing this. Dropbox is a caps sensitive backend in a non caps sensitive world, so occasionally when adding a book dropbox will munge the folder name and you will lose the book in your library browser. Example
Say you have a book by Neil Stephenson and one by neil stephenson. When you add this into your library, dropbox will get a little pissy and make one of those directories read neil stephenson(Case Conflict). The data is still there, but since the directory name changed, calibre can’t find it anymore. Just be cautious in how you enter your authors and you wont have a problem. I’ve been doing this for a year myself and once I figured out where all of my books were going and why, I haven’t had a problem since.

0 votes

jhpot

I appreciate the warning, Jason. Thanks.

0 votes

Todd

Thanks for that – I didn’t realize it was a Dropbox thing; I thought maybe it was a mismatch in Calibre versions across multiple platforms.

If you correct casing, change it to an intermediate value first that varies by something /other/ than case – change “john smith” to “John SmithX”, and then change “John SmithX” to “John Smith” and you should be ok.

0 votes

Djangelic

I would do this, but I have a 10 gigabyte Calibre Library, and I am still using free Dropbox, so that isnt going to work :( But i do use the content server option to get universal access to my books :)

0 votes

jhpot

You, sir, have a much bigger library than me. Good job.

0 votes

Kaushik

Here is a template for you to use:

Combine Dropbox & X For Universal Access To All Your Y

Step 1: Install Dropbox
Step 2: Install X
Step 3: Move library/folder Y of X to Dropbox folder
Step 4: Access Y from everywhere

0 votes

Kaushik

Here is a template for you to use:

Combine Dropbox & X For Universal Access To All Your Y

Step 1: Install Dropbox
Step 2: Install X
Step 3: Move library/folder Y of X to Dropbox folder
Step 4: Access Y from everywhere

0 votes

Philharmania

I use SpiderOak for my Calibre library. It’s actually a very competent alternative to Dropbox. SpiderOak is cross-platform(I use it on Windows and Ubuntu) and can really backup/sync any folders anywhere. It may not sync at once when something is changed, but it has a button to scan the directories and update changes any time you want.
I intend to use Dropbox for frequently-modified files because of it’s instant sync speed and LAN sync. For ebooks, the data is more or less static once you upload to the server so SpiderOak works perfectly.

0 votes

Philharmania

I use SpiderOak for my Calibre library. It’s actually a very competent alternative to Dropbox. SpiderOak is cross-platform(I use it on Windows and Ubuntu) and can really backup/sync any folders anywhere. It may not sync at once when something is changed, but it has a button to scan the directories and update changes any time you want.
I intend to use Dropbox for frequently-modified files because of it’s instant sync speed and LAN sync. For ebooks, the data is more or less static once you upload to the server so SpiderOak works perfectly.

0 votes

jhpot

Not a bad tip; SpiderOak is one I’m going to have to check out someday.