ebook management with Calibre

Now that I’ve finally picked up an e-reader – my iPad – it’s time to fill it with books.  I’ve already got a pretty decent selection of legitmately acquired ebooks, largely thanks to Baen Books.  If you’re a science fiction fan you owe it to yourself to check out the Baen Free Library.  There’s a lot of good books to be found there, and they also ship a CD full of books with many of their hardcovers.

My plan has been to use the Kindle app on the iPad to handle my reading needs, but as far as I can tell there’s no easy way to get books from other sources into it.  Thankfully there are a number of other reader apps available, including Apple’s own iBooks.  It’s pretty easy to get files into iBooks via iTunes, but iBooks uses the ePub format.  Therefore – of course – none of my existing ebooks are in ePub but instead are scattered across lit, rtf, and other formats.  After a little research last night I downloaded Calibre.

Calibre can catalog all of your ebooks regardless of format.  Critical to my situation is an apparently excellent ability to convert ebooks from one format to another singly or in bulk.  I just finished converting roughly two dozen books into ePub and syncing them via iTunes.  They’re immediately visible in iBooks and even have cover art.

Calibre appears to be full of win.

  • Bob

    I can vouch for Calibre. Been using it since early this year with my Nook and it’s definately the best out there in the conversion department.

  • Thanks so much for this post, e! I didn’t know about either the Baen free library or Calibre when I woke up this morning. You’ve just enriched my life greatly.

  • Max

    The main problem with Calibre is speed. It takes about 20 seconds to start the application on my Mac Mini Core2Duo 2GHz.
    For serious book collection management I use it because there is no alternative. But I hope Apple will improve support of ebooks in iTunes so I could delete Calibre and forget its slowness and endless bugs. However, conversion in Calibre is very powerful. As a converter I also use http://iiiconverter.com but Calibre in this matter is irreplaceable.

  • Kiki

    Check out the ecollection from the library. I download ebooks and audio books from there all the time and best of all they are free. 🙂

    http://www.kcls.org/ecollection/

  • Amy

    Check out the ecollection from the library. I download ebooks and audio books from there all the time and best of all they are free. 🙂

    http://www.kcls.org/ecollection/