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 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:
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:
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.
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!