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Distinguished Correspondent
blemons
Posts: 129
Registered: ‎10-11-2010
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Organizing E-books, ADE & Calibre ?

I am trying to decide the best way to organize my e-books that is efficient, simple and not very time-consuming.  Also trying to come up with the best backup plan.

 

I do NOT yet have a Nook, but am planning to get one (Nook Classic).  So I am trying to find out as much as I can and see if I can get some systems set up from the very beginning.

 

I have 400+ e-books from BN plus at least 100 from other sources.  And still adding to it.  I will also likely check out ebooks from the library once I get up and running.  (I think I read that you MUST use ADE for library books?  But that is really less of an organizational issue anyway since that is for a limited time).

 

I want to be able to keep track of what I've read and what is yet unread.  I would also like to have them categorized, to some extent.  I would also like to know which are BN vs not - so if/when I have to reload them I know which are which.  I would also like some way to sort/store books by series (in order, together).  But what sort of file structure (on the PC) would you use to do all this?

 

I know the new software (on the Nook) has the ability to store in bookshelves, but am not exactly sure how that works.  And that is only on the Nook, I know... but would you then have your file structure for PC backups mirror what is on your Nook shelves?

 

I do not necessarily plan to have them all on my Nook at all times.  But don't really know yet.  Will see how that goes.  I will probably put all my sideloaded content on an SD Card.

I have downloaded ADE and have put my non-BN books there.  I also have Nook for PC but don't hardly use it - I don't really like reading books on my PC.

 

Does ADE have any way to organize the books you have within that software?

 

I have read about Calibre, but that almost sounds like more work than what I really need at this point.  Sure, maybe changing metadata could come in handy - but that only works for some books, right?  I understand (to some extent) you can manage all your ebooks (including BN and other DRM books) within Calibre.  But is that worth it (vs. storing in files on your PC)?

 

Also,   How do you back-up ADE books?  Can you somehow take the file that is saved within ADE and save that?  Or do you save the original downloaded file (which then has to be run through ADE again in some cases)?  Also, what about the *.ascm files or the ones that are not named by the book - how do you keep those organized for backups?

 

I would love to hear what others do for e-book management and backup.  Or any tips or input you might have regarding my thoughts above.

 

Thanks.

Berit

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HungerGamesPerson
Posts: 611
Registered: ‎01-09-2011
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Re: Organizing E-books, ADE & Calibre ?

I would just use sheves for your nook.I have only about 10 e-books so I really don't have that kind of a problem, but you can put in names like already Read or To Be Read or Reading and that seems to work just fine. Sheves are very quick and easy to make too.

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Inspired Correspondent
ivers
Posts: 142
Registered: ‎07-02-2010
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Re: Organizing E-books, ADE & Calibre ?

I use Calibre and keep the database & book folder in a Dropbox folder on my PC. Dropbox does live backups in the cloud, up to 2gb for free. (You can then also set it up so that you can access your ebook catalog from a web browser on pretty much any device you can think of that has a web browser)

 

Calibre can be intimidating when you first start using it, but after the initial brief learning curve I think it is a much better option than letting ADE (which I find pretty clunky) organize all your books.

 

The developer is a regular book-lovin' guy, not some large corporation, and the Calibre team puts out frequent updates. Tech support is great, just post in the Calibre forum at mobileread. You can organize your books very simply or you can go crazy with lots of tags.

 

Of course, I'm the sort of person who used to spend many happy hours rearranging and organizing my shelves of DTBs, so I enjoy spending a time tweaking metadata and adding tags and series info to my ebooks.

Inspired Wordsmith
gstone
Posts: 1,317
Registered: ‎09-05-2010
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Re: Organizing E-books, ADE & Calibre ?

Calibre is free. Your best bet is to download it, play with it and see how you like it. Calibre has a decent uninstall routine so you don't have to worry too much about left over artifacts if it's not for you. If you decide to use it, you can make a donation to their efforts if you want. I did. Otherwise uninstall it.

 

Calibre may feel clunky at first but it really isn't. The online videos I have found for Calibre are dated and do not accurately portray the current version of the application.
 
The metadata on all eBooks can be edited in Calibre. Calibre uses information from the metadata to organize books, rename them, change the cover art, etc. In addition I added a checkmark column named 'Read ' to the list of books. I can enable this after I have read a book.
 
Editing organizational metadata can be accomplished using drag and drop or edited individually.
 

  
ADE is required for library eBooks or any purchased eBook using Adobe DRM.


I sideload all my content and use Calibre for this. I haven't used the library yet or currently have any eBooks that use Adobe DRM.

 

 

 

I use Nook for PC to download the eBooks from BN.com because books downloaded this way include the title in the filename and not just an ISBN number. I don't need to do this; I am too lazy to rename the files when downloading from my account.
 
I only keep about 20 books on the nook at a time. I regularly remove books from the nook and add more to it. This is accomplished by drag and drop through Calibre.

 

I could keep more books on the nook and organize those using shelves. I just don't feel the need to keep books on the nook I have read and probably won't read again for a long time if ever.

 

As for backups, I guess I have 3. Two on the computer's hard drive, one in PC for Nook's folder and one in the Calibre folder. I also backup to a portable hard drive. I don't consider the files on the nook's SD card backups.

Inspired Bibliophile
Desert_Brat
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Registered: ‎12-14-2010
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Re: Organizing E-books, ADE & Calibre ?

[ Edited ]

I love Calibre. I have my libraries stored on an external drive.

 

I like Calibre because you can make separate libraries (sort of like shelves) and adding or removing a book from the nook is a simple one-click process.

 

As mentioned, it does have a learning curve, but there is a nice video on the site and an ample help section. And once you learn the basics, it's pretty straight forward. And it's free. It's a very powerful program as well, if you have a need for such things. It will also convert non-drm books from one format to another, such as pdb to epub for your nook.

 

I do recommend making a separate folder on the desktop for storing books that are then imported into the program, then deleting them from the folder once they have been added. Calibre will always look in that folder first when you click on Add Books.

 

But as gstone mentioned, you do have to use ADE for books from the public library.

A lifelong reader, now may my life be long enough to catch up on my reading!
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ABthree
Posts: 4,123
Registered: ‎01-27-2010
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Re: Organizing E-books, ADE & Calibre ?

[ Edited ]

@blemons

 

Your best bet, if you feel that you must organize your eBooks, is Calibre. 

 

Make sure that your organization scheme is simple, because whatever it is, it will not carry over to your Nook.  You'll pretty much be organizing your computer copies, so you want to minimize the amount of ongoing file maintenance you have to do.

 

You'll be able to move your non-B&N books directly to "My Documents" on your Nook from Calibre.  Be careful of large folders:  they sometimes are reported to choke Nook.  Calibre's default of "one folder per book" isn't usually a problem.  Calibre will not change metadata on DRM-protected books.

 

Even if you organize your B&N books on Calibre, you'll still need to download your Nook copies directly from B&N.  You can't populate "My B&N Library" with sideloads.

 

Yes, you do need ADE for library books.   No, ADE doesn't have organizational tools.

 

If you're copying your ADE books to your Nook, you really don't need an additional backup step:  you'll have one copy of each book on your Nook, and one in the Digital Editions folder on your computer.

 

I have about 400 books currently on my Nook.  I've never been concerned with organization, so I find shelves and alpha by author to work fine for me.

 

There, I think that addresses everything.  Enjoy your Nook when you get  it.  :smileyhappy:

+LORD, preserve the good in their goodness, and+
+in your kindness, make the wicked become good.+
-- St. Basil the Great+
Distinguished Correspondent
very-simple
Posts: 1,262
Registered: ‎11-11-2009
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Re: Organizing E-books, ADE & Calibre ?

I use Calibre to organize all of my "permanent" books (meaning, not from the library), even if they are DRM protected and not actually readable in Calibre.  It's a convenient way to keep everything in one place.  I like that you can set up multiple libraries.  I have 6 libraries set up:

 

calibre library: this is the original, "basic" library that calibre sets up.  It's also the parent library for everything else.  I use this as a general "warehouse" library.  This is where my auto-news downloads go (since these are largely temporary and get deleted once they're loaded onto my nook), as well as anything I haven't cataloged yet.  

 

article archive:  this is where I keep any web articles that I've downloaded (via the dotEPUB browser button plugin) that I want to keep, rather than delete once I've read

 

the other 4 libraries are self explanatory:

 

books-classic-read

books-classic-unread

books-contemporary-read

books-contemporary-unread

 

I brook out the classic books into a separate library because I amassed a somewhat unwieldy collection of them when B&N was giving away a boatload of classics every week last summer.  These are books that I contemplate reading when I'm waiting for something to arrive from the library in a few days and I don't want to buy another book in the meantime.  

 

Even though B&N can sync wirelessly to my B&N library on my nook, sometimes I find it easier to sideload the book via calibre, because I read so much news and magazine content via calibre and my default is to keep my nook in "my documents" - this way everything's in the same place.  Even if that place has less dynamic features (i.e., no coverflow).  Plus, this way I almost never take my nook out of airplane mode.  

Distinguished Correspondent
blemons
Posts: 129
Registered: ‎10-11-2010
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Re: Organizing E-books, ADE & Calibre ?

Thanks for all the suggestions.

 

I may check out Calibre - I just need to be sure I don't overdo it - I could see that taking a lot of extra time to keep up with it!

 

But I guess that may be an issue either way, if I try to organize everything I have...

 

Question on Nook for PC:

 

I have installed it, and can see my books from bn.com when I open it.... but how do I get them to download to my computer (so i can use as backup)?  I see an option to download each book individually (options, download - under each book).  Is doing them one at a time the only way to get a local copy?  Or is there some way I can get them to all download to my pc - all existing books as well as new books as I go?

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gstone
Posts: 1,317
Registered: ‎09-05-2010
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Re: Organizing E-books, ADE & Calibre ?

[ Edited ]

blemons wrote:

 

Question on Nook for PC:

 

I have installed it, and can see my books from bn.com when I open it.... but how do I get them to download to my computer (so i can use as backup)?  I see an option to download each book individually (options, download - under each book).  Is doing them one at a time the only way to get a local copy?  Or is there some way I can get them to all download to my pc - all existing books as well as new books as I go?


 

Go to Settings\Account Settings

 

Put a checkmark in Automatically download recent purchases.

 

Go back to the library tab and press the sync button at the top.

 

This used to download your entire NB library. There was an update to Nook for PC recently and I don't know it if still works or not.

 

Edit: this wouldn't download archived books. those had to be downloaded individually. 

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ABthree
Posts: 4,123
Registered: ‎01-27-2010
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Re: Organizing E-books, ADE & Calibre ?

 


blemons wrote:

Question on Nook for PC:

 

I have installed it, and can see my books from bn.com when I open it.... but how do I get them to download to my computer (so i can use as backup)?  I see an option to download each book individually (options, download - under each book).  Is doing them one at a time the only way to get a local copy?  Or is there some way I can get them to all download to my pc - all existing books as well as new books as I go?


In Nook for PC
Settings>account settings
Check "Automatically download recent purchases", and Wham!  Presto!  Your wish is granted!  :smileyvery-happy:

 

+LORD, preserve the good in their goodness, and+
+in your kindness, make the wicked become good.+
-- St. Basil the Great+
Doug_Pardee
Posts: 5,522
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Re: Organizing E-books, ADE & Calibre ?

Replying to the original posting:

 

It took me a l-o-o-o-n-n-n-g time to warm up to Calibre, but recent changes have made it much more useful once you figure it out. In particular, the "user categories" allow you to group tags into categories, which I use in order to (1) select tags that denote bookshelves as opposed to random tags, and (2) combine various genre tags into an over-arching genre, e.g., Space Opera, Alternate History, Time Travel, and general Science Fiction into a Science Fiction category. Another recent feature is the ability to drag-n-drop an e-book onto a tag in order to add that tag to the e-book (or, as I like to think of it, to add that e-book to the bookshelf denoted by the tag).

 

Calibre also lets you rate your e-books on a 5-star scale, file them by series and book number in the series, and add arbitrary information columns to your database. On the other hand, Calibre can't open Adobe EPUB and Adobe PDF e-books for reading on your computer, while ADE can.

 

If you make sure you've provided Calibre with cover art for an e-book, Calibre will create a thumbnail-sized JPEG of that cover art when you use Calibre to load the e-book onto your NOOK. Your NOOK will then show the cover art. ADE tries to do this but fails, because it sticks the thumbnail into a sub-folder called 'Thumbnails' where NOOK doesn't look.

 

Calibre does take some adjusting to. There are certain things that it does that it will do that way. In particular, each e-book entered into Calibre is always copied to the Calibre library, and the copy is always renamed with the author and title, and is always placed in a folder named with the title of the book, which is in turn placed in a folder named with the author of the book. You will learn to accept this; resistance is futile.

 

Making a virtue out of a necessity: since all of your Calibre library is in one folder, you can create that folder in 'My Dropbox' and have your Calibre library automatically backed up "to the cloud" with Dropbox, and the library will be copied onto any other computer you have connected to your Dropbox account. My netbook and my tower share the same Calibre library, which is thus backed up into three places, one of them being the cloud. Caution: Calibre holds its database file open when Calibre is open, and Dropbox can't sync it until you shut Calibre down; this can cause mis-matched database files if you are careless.

 

ADE, on the other hand, does not copy your personal e-books anywhere. It just remembers where they were, and what they were named, when you entered them into ADE. For e-books that ADE downloaded from the library or other e-book stores, those end up in your 'My Digital Editions' folder in your personal folder on your computer ('My Documents' or whatever). ADE also lets you create and rename bookshelves, and to move e-books around. At first glance this seems better, but after you've used ADE for a while you'll probably want to jam your fist through the monitor. Especially if it decides to lose its entire database of e-books and you have to start over. Everyday gratingness is that it still doesn't (despite Adobe's promises that it would) handle B&N EPUBs, so it lists them as unknown author and title even though that information isn't encrypted in an EPUB. It also won't deal with eReader PDBs at all if you ever end up with any of those.

 

ADE doesn't normally want to put anything on an added SD card. However, it can be done. See this posting: http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/NOOK-Technical-Support/SD-card-and-ADE/m-p/858098#M32859

 

Normally you wouldn't save .acsm files. Normally you'd have ADE automatically start up when you download one of those, and it'll read the .acsm and download the e-book.

 

I tried to use ADE originally, but it's Calibre for me now.

 

Distinguished Correspondent
blemons
Posts: 129
Registered: ‎10-11-2010

Re: Organizing E-books, ADE & Calibre ?

Thanks ABthree and gstone.

 

That didn't seem to want to work for me with existing files... but it DID for the new ones - so that helps!

 

I just ended up doing the existing ones, individually, when I had a bit of time... and it really didn't go too badly.

 

So now I should be all set with that!  Thanks.

 

And Doug - thanks for all the additional info, too!

 

Berit

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ABthree
Posts: 4,123
Registered: ‎01-27-2010
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Re: Organizing E-books, ADE & Calibre ?

@blemons,

 

Glad you got it all to work.  Good luck with your organization.

 

I hope that you can leave yourself some time for actual reading. :smileywink:

+LORD, preserve the good in their goodness, and+
+in your kindness, make the wicked become good.+
-- St. Basil the Great+
Distinguished Correspondent
blemons
Posts: 129
Registered: ‎10-11-2010
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Re: Organizing E-books, ADE & Calibre ?

Thanks, ABthree.  I know what you mean.  That's what I really wan to do (read)!

 

If this gets TOO overwhelming - I may just give up and just read! :smileyhappy:  But at least for now, I can hopefully spend some time with it to get up to speed before I actually receive my Nook.