📅 2012-Feb-26 ⬩ ✍️ Ashwin Nanjappa ⬩ 🏷️ ebook reader ⬩ 📚 Archive
Calibre is a versatile GUI program and set of commandline tools which can be used to manage your local ebook library and to view, manipulate, convert and share ebook files.
Windows: Download the most recent installer and run it. Calibre will notify you when a newer version is available for installation (usually every 2 weeks).
Linux: DO NOT use the Calibre available from your distribution. Calibre is updated every 2 weeks and you really want to get the most recent fixes and recipe updates. Install the most recent Calibre on Linux by running this command:
$ sudo -v && wget -nv -O- https://download.calibre-ebook.com/linux-installer.sh | sudo sh /dev/stdin
The GUI of Calibre is where I perform most of the configuration and operations on my ebook library:
Library: When Calibre is started for the first time, it asks you where it can maintain your ebook library. All the ebooks you import into Calibre will be stored here. This directory is typically
%USERPROFILE%\Calibre Library\. By default, Calibre shows the ebooks in your library.
View: Any ebook displayed in your library can be viewed by double-clicking it or choosing View in the toolbar. This opens the ebook with Calibre’s E-Book Viewer, which can also be opened independently outside Calibre by executing
ebook-viewer.exe. The ebook viewer seems to have a minimal UI by default. You can enable all sorts of features (search, TOC, lookup, highlights, font size, colors) by right-clicking anywhere inside the ebook viewer.
Add: To add ebook files, use the Add books option in the toolbar. This imports the ebook file into your Calibre library and adds it to the your library directory.
Convert: To convert an ebook file, right-click on the file in the library list and choose Convert books -> Convert individually. See my post on converting ebook to PDF for more info.
Fetch news: A fantastic feature of Calibre is the ability to download blogs, magazines and newspapers from their websites and create ebooks from them. Use the Fetch news option from the toolbar to choose from hundreds of sources whose recipes have been contributed by Calibre users. You can either Download now or schedule when you want to fetch regularly. (The latter needs you to keep Calibre running in the background.) You can even create your own recipes to pull down your favorite news sources or blogs by adding their RSS feeds or write your Python code to fetch. Recipes you create are stored as
*.recipe files in the
Device: The Device option appears in the toolbar when you connect any ebook reader (like Kobo) or mass storage device to the computer. Drag ebooks from the library list to the Device toolbar button to add them to the device. Or click the Device button to see which ebooks are on it. What is amazing is that even a directory on your own computer can be a pseudo device by choosing Connect/Share -> Connect to folder in the toolbar.
Content server: Your Calibre can even run a web server serving all the ebooks from your libary to any device on your network. From the top toolbar choose Connect/Share -> Start content server option to start this server. The library can be accessed from the browser on any device on the network at the URL:
https://<IP-address-of-calibre-computer>:8080. 8080 is the default port, but can be configured to something else. To configure other settings related to this feature go to Preferences -> Sharing -> Sharing over the net.
Export/Import: You can export your complete library (books, recipes and all settings) by clicking the Calibre icon in the top toolbar (usually named Calibre Library) and choosing Export/Import all Calibre data. You will need to specify a directory and Calibre writes SQLite files named like
part-0001.calibre-data. To import this exported data on another computer, copy these files over and choose the same options as above. Note that you will need to specify a new library folder on importing and Calibre will switch to using this new folder. Your old library folder can be deleted after this operation.
Plugins: Calibre is so deeply modularized that most of its default functionality is implemented through plugins that are installed by default. These installed plugins can be found under Preferences -> Advanced -> Plugins. Double-click on the plugin name to view/change its settings. To install other plugins, use the Get new plugins option in that plugins dialog.
calibredb is the commandline tool to query and modify the Calibre database which is the ebook library directory on the disk. Note that all the calibredb commands require the
--library-path option to work.
listcommand to list the books in the library:
$ calibredb list --library-path=/path/to/your/library/
None of the calibredb commands (like the one above) will not work if you have the GUI program running in the background or if the content server is running. Stop the GUI program and content server to run the above command.
If you are running a Calibre content server, it can be disruptive to stop it just to access the library from the commandline. Instead connect to the content server and access the library through that:
$ calibredb --library-path="http://localhost:8080/" list
To get a list of all the unique IDs of the libraries being shared by the content server:
$ calibredb --library-path="http://localhost:8080/#-" list
To use a specific library in the calibredb commands use its ID:
$ calibredb --library-path="http://localhost:8080/#foobarlibraryid" list
title,authorsfields of the books are listed (along with the unique book
id- which is always listed). To list books with a different set of fields:
$ calibredb list --library-path=/path/to/your/library/ --fields="title,pubdate"
Provide a comma separated list of book IDs to the
remove command to remove those books from the library:
$ calibredb --library-path=/path/to/your/library/ remove 10,20,32-35
This command will not work on a content server.
To enable removal of books through content server, go to Preferences -> Sharing over the net -> Advanced and enable the Allow un-authenticated local connections to make changes option.
Tried with: Calibre 6.10