Adventures with ebooks

I’m sure I could be doing better things with my spare time, but I have had great fun diving down the rabbit hole of Calibre, the ebook library software.

Earlier in the week, I had imported ebooks from my various sources, and have since gone through the duplicates and either deleted or merged them as appropriate. Some of those are a result of duplication of imports (as I had attempted something like this some time ago), but a few are genuine duplications of purchase.

I started buying ebooks from Amazon, through the Kindle store. Then for a couple of years, I switched to Kobo, which is when I first started using Calibre, to allow me to load Kindle books onto my Kobo. But since mid-2019, I switched back to Kindle, with a new Paperwhite ebook reader.

As before, I was able to use Calibre to read Kobo purchase on my new Kindle. But a few times I simply didn’t realise that a book I wanted to reread was purchased on Kobo, and – not finding it in my Kindle library – I assumed I had previous bought it in paperback form.

Thankfully, I didn’t do this too often, and I assume my enjoyment of rereading these books made it worthwhile.

Anyway, I now have a library of some 2000 ebooks, labelled with where they come from – “Kindle”, “Kobo” and “Other” for books I have obtained from places like Baen and Project Gutenberg.

I am now going through the library, updating my customer “Read (Yes/No)” flag. This started by linking Calibre to my Goodreads account, and importing the Read statuses from there. I am now going though and marking additional books I know I have read as “Yes”, defaulting everything else to “No”. I know that some of the “No” books will be ones I have read and forgotten, but I can deal with those as I discover them. Then when this exercise is done, I can resync to Goodreads, so my Calibre library and Goodreads account balance.

(I have just realised that I also need an “Abandoned” category for books I have thrown in the virtual junk-pile.)

The task of flagging books is not trivial, but I am finding it quite satisfying. It will make it easy to work out what I have bought but never gotten around to reading, but it is also a kind of representation of multiple bookshelves that used to dominate my home before I abandoned the paperback.

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