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Old 12-20-2011, 05:00 AM   #1
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Challenge: can anyone develop a simple booklist generator?

Here's a challenge which may be quite simple for someone with programming skills:

Could anyone come up with a fairly basic way of cleaning-up the booklist generated through a command-prompt procedure directly from either the Kindle's own directory (or a mirror of it on the PC). I am not referring to Calibre's booklist generator, which requires all the books to actually be loaded in Calibre itself, which is painful if you have hundreds.

This is one popular way of generating a booklist (of .mobis) from the actual Kindle (or mirror) directory:

---------
"To print a list of all books in the Kindle master folder (or on the PC), from Command Prompt, switch to the relevant drive, drill down to the Kindle folder, then type: dir /s *.mobi > holdbooks.txt (press enter key) where the > redirects the output into the file holdbooks.txt, /s means go down the folders if you have subfolders. Then remove unwanted text, numbers etc. with Find and Replace."
---------

In principle this works fine, but it produces a very bloated document with a bunch of info you don't need if you only want a catalogue of all the authors and their books, plus unnecessary spaces, file sizes etc.

The trick would seem to be to find a way to strip the resulting .txt file down to its essentials which I suggest needs to look simply something like this, e.g. under your own Novels classification you might have:

Colm Toibin: Mothers and Sons
Colm Toibin: The Empty Family
Colum McCann: Let The Great World Spin
Cormac McCarthy: Outer Dark
Daniel Handler: The Basic Eight
Dave Eggers: You Shall Know Our Velocity!
David Abbott: The Upright Piano Player
David Guterson: Snow Falling on Cedars
David Malouf: Ransom
etc.

To get to this stage, without more than basic abilities to run repeated Find & Replace actions involved me in an enormous amount of manual deletion and cleaning up. Can there be an easier way? If someone can come up with a solution he or she will be doing the ebook community an enormous service. Many of us would love to be able to generate a simple catalogue of our collections at regular intervals!
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:47 AM   #2
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Have you tried Calibre in device view mode? This may be all you need. The ebooks will all show up as not in your Calibre library, but you can still search and delete.
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:35 AM   #3
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There's a mobi directory browser in Tompe's "mobi2mobi" toolset. Might be worth looking at.
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:08 AM   #4
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A fairly accurate list of the books currently on my Kindle can be found on the Home page(s). It even ignores all those pesky folders and (sometimes) meaningless file names.
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:21 AM   #5
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A fairly accurate list of the books currently on my Kindle can be found on the Home page(s). It even ignores all those pesky folders and (sometimes) meaningless file names.
Ummm, try that when your collection is upwards of 2,000 books...... Or when you want to send someone a list of your library!
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:22 AM   #6
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Have you tried Calibre in device view mode? This may be all you need. The ebooks will all show up as not in your Calibre library, but you can still search and delete.
Could you actually print out a booklist like this, which would be one of the objects of the exercise?
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:24 AM   #7
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Ummm, try that when your collection is upwards of 2,000 books......
I'd never try something as silly as that. Calibre is my library... my Kindle is just my book-bag.
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:38 AM   #8
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I'd never try something as silly as that. Calibre is my library... my Kindle is just my book-bag.
Precisely. Which takes me back to my original need: something which will enable me to print out and/or share a very concise (author: title) list of all the books I have on my Kindle.

I'll check out the mobi directory browser mentioned earlier while seeing if anyone else comes up with something suitable.
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:50 AM   #9
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Harry: I checked out the Mobi2Mobi tools but it looks a lot like they are beyond my simple skills. I need a just-heat-and-eat solution.

Wallcraft: Running the latest Calibre, I couldn't find any way of simply pointing it to, say, my master book collection (some 2,000 books) on my PC without having to Add each and every one -- which would take all day. (I have to point out that I only use Calibre for ad hoc conversions, so that it doesn't store any master-list of my books).

So unless I'm missing something, unfortunately none of this addresses the basic crux of the issue: a simple solution for generating a simple 'author: title' booklist from either the Kindle or a PC directory, a booklist which could also be printed or shared if required.
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:17 AM   #10
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Precisely. Which takes me back to my original need: something which will enable me to print out and/or share a very concise (author: title) list of all the books I have on my Kindle.

I'll check out the mobi directory browser mentioned earlier while seeing if anyone else comes up with something suitable.
I think you missed my point. My "book bag" never has more than 5 or 6 books in it at any one time. If I need to print out a list of my "library," I'll use calibre... where I keep all my ebooks. 2,000 books on one Kindle is what I considered silly.
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:28 AM   #11
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What about a directory printer. If you have useful filenames you could just print out the contents of the kindle's document folder.

Karen's Directory Printer
http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptdirprn.asp

JR Directory Printer Utility
http://www.spadixbd.com/freetools/jdirprint.htm

and others.
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Old 12-20-2011, 12:20 PM   #12
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I've gotten my process down to 5 minutes. Command prompt is:

dir *.mobi *.prc /s/B/on/w/a:-d > files.txt

then I take the files.txt file and import into Excel, remove the first few columns that contain directory names, and you're left with author / book as 2 excel columns. Done.
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:29 PM   #13
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This is one of the areas where Mac and Linux is so much superior to windows. You just type one line of code and it's done, no 3rd party software needed.

Anyway, in case any Mac users need a similar list, one can just copy & paste the following. There're many ways to do this, this is just one of them:
Code:
find . -iname '*.mobi' -exec basename {} \; | sed 's/.mobi$//' > book_list.txt
If your file naming convention is sloppy(like me) and not consistent for all books, you can even go a step further if you have mobi2mobi installed, to pull the auothor & title info directly from the mobi files rather than rely on their file names:
Code:
find . -iname '*.mobi' -exec mobi2mobi {} \; | egrep 'Author|Title' | sed 'N;s/^EXTH.*[0-9][0-9]\ -\ \(.*\)\nEXTH.*[0-9][0-9]\ -\ \(.*\)$/\1 \:\ \2/g' > book_list.txt
Above code will generate the exact format requested from the OP.
Quote:
Originally Posted by terencek View Post
Colm Toibin: Mothers and Sons
Colm Toibin: The Empty Family
Colum McCann: Let The Great World Spin
Cormac McCarthy: Outer Dark
...
It's the same for linux, but linux users probably already know this

Last edited by shinew; 12-20-2011 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:00 PM   #14
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btw, Windows users can probably just install Cygwin or UnxUtils to run the above commands.

There're probably other apps, but I don't think you can produce the desired results without any 3rd party software on Windows.
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Old 12-21-2011, 02:01 AM   #15
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Thank you to those who made helpful suggestions rather than diverting the topic.

I will try the ideas and if one turns out to be particularly user-friendly I will mention that here, hopefully to the benefit of other users wanting to achieve the same result: a simple, printable, shareable booklist.
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