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Old 12-01-2011, 12:42 PM   #1
rogerms
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Reading level computation

I'm going to introduce a Kindle reader to my older daughter soon. So I'm searching for ebooks for her.

What I want to do is compute the "Flesch Reading Ease" and "Flesch–Kincaid Grade Level" for each ebook in my collection so I can get an idea of what is appropriate for her. (I'll also scan each book for content manually.)

I've found that I can copy, then paste the ebook text into Word, an online site, and a Java application, which will give me varying numbers. I'm not too concerned with the differences, since once I decide on the method I'll stick with it.

Is there a Cablibre plug-in that will do this, and ideally add the numbers to columns? Or are there any suggestions on how to accomplish this?

Thanks.

-roger
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:50 PM   #2
kiwidude
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@rogerms - there is no calibre plugin for doing this, certainly not available from this site anyways. There is a limitation in calibre with "metadata download" plugins (those that retrieve data from sites like Amazon, Goodreads etc) in that they cannot populate custom columns, which is what you would want to do for storing your reading levels.

The way around this is to write a completely bespoke "user interface" plugin. It is unfortunately a bit more work to do this for this purpose, as you end up replicating a lot of logic/code that calibre has for metadata download purposes, but it certainly is possible. I once wrote a bespoke plugin for someone which retrieves a more detailed rating (floating point value, not rounded) with the number of users who have rated it from Amazon and Goodreads into custom columns. The principle is all the same. So it "can" be done.
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Old 12-01-2011, 01:02 PM   #3
rogerms
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@kiwidude, thanks for the info. This isn't something I'll do a lot, so manually entering the data into columns would be OK. I was hoping that what I wanted to do had already been implemented.

At the moment it looks like my best option is to open the ebook in Calibre, select the main text of the ebook, paste it in to this site: http://www.standards-schmandards.com.../rix/index.php, and then manually copy the two data fields to columns in Calibre.

I'm open to alternatives though.

-roger
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Old 12-01-2011, 01:29 PM   #4
Serpentine
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There's a pretty good implementation of this over at the nltk repo, see : readabilitytests.py

I'm pretty sure that this could be used to provide an interface for doing the calculation, however the tricky bit is more in ensuring that you only compute the score off of paragraph text out of the book chapters. I'm not too sure how this would be managed within the calibre plugin structure, however at the very least I'm sure you could get an interface to paste the text into, compute the score and store it.
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Old 12-01-2011, 01:41 PM   #5
rogerms
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Thanks @Serpentine, yes, that code looks like it would do the trick, with added code to strip out non-paragraph text. I'm new to Calibre, so adding it is more than I want to do, at least for now. In Goggling for a solution this morning it occurred to me that someone must have already done this. But is appears I'm heading into new territory.

-roger
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