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Old 06-28-2014, 03:45 PM   #1
rjupiter
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Need Help: Organization Nightmare

Hi -

I have over 200 e-books and right now they are sitting Calibre but i am not sure how much longer i will keep using it as i can find no simple and meaningful to organize. I have tried setting up virtual library and doing this by tags but that is clunky an doesn't seem to work very well. for example i have psychology books that also fall under philosophy or history. and doing a VL with tags is very limited as it won't allow, or i haven't found a way, to have multiple tag for one library. so i am having to have one for for everything and having the same book show up in everyone of those.

is there an easy way to organize books by category or to create groups the way i would like to have them in? because right i am really struggling.
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Old 06-28-2014, 04:12 PM   #2
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The search expression can be arbitrarily complex combined with and/or logical operators.

E.g.
Tags:value1 or tags:value2
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Old 06-28-2014, 04:20 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by itimpi View Post
The search expression can be arbitrarily complex combined with and/or logical operators.

E.g.
Tags:value1 or tags:value2
i tried adding in my tags but it doesn't work. maybe i am doing it wrong. i am not a coder and am looking for something easy so for example if i setup a VL and use the tag setting and it looks like this

tags:"=Philosophy" how do i then add another tag so it will show also books that are say tagged as religion?
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Old 06-28-2014, 04:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjupiter View Post
i tried adding in my tags but it doesn't work. maybe i am doing it wrong. i am not a coder and am looking for something easy so for example if i setup a VL and use the tag setting and it looks like this

tags:"=Philosophy" how do i then add another tag so it will show also books that are say tagged as religion?
Did you look at the example itimpi gave ?

Forget VL's for now. Learn to use Search. Later you can use a combination of both.

Open the Tag Browser (if closed)
At the bottom there is a button: Alter Tag Browser
Check the Search Type setting: Match ALL if you only want exact matches, Match Any if any of the terms gets a hit

Now, in the Tags section (expand as needed) Click the first Tag to find.
HOLD the control key and click any other tags to find
Click the Go! to search

Note: Uou can use the SAVED searches section to store / use previous searches
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Old 06-28-2014, 05:14 PM   #5
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honestly, and with no offense, that is the most ass backward way of doing things. the problem is i know what books i want to go where and trying to wade through 276 tags, click on only those, then hold click and search etc... (and still not get it mainly how i want) on a 7in touchscreen is a fucking nightmare. i guess being able to quickly create create groups and drag/drops the books i want into them is not going to happen with this. guess i need to maybe look for something else to use for my books.

thanks anyways.
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Old 06-28-2014, 05:42 PM   #6
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I'm not sure if it meets your needs, but you can always create separate physical libraries. With the example you gave, you'd have to keep the book in two libraries, so you could end up with duplicate copies that way - which is why I'm not sure it would work for you.
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Old 06-28-2014, 05:57 PM   #7
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I'm not sure if it meets your needs, but you can always create separate physical libraries. With the example you gave, you'd have to keep the book in two libraries, so you could end up with duplicate copies that way - which is why I'm not sure it would work for you.
yes, i have a lot of reference material/books that i need to be able to quickly access/read as i am a researcher/historian. and while i am sure this program is great for basic/rudimentary use i really need specific organization and having it based on arbitrary tag values, that are messy to begin with is, for me, a huge fault in this program. i do wonder how anyone deal with a large diverse library in this program as, in my experience, it does not seem suited to this at all.
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Old 06-28-2014, 06:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjupiter View Post
yes, i have a lot of reference material/books that i need to be able to quickly access/read as i am a researcher/historian. and while i am sure this program is great for basic/rudimentary use i really need specific organization and having it based on arbitrary tag values, that are messy to begin with is, for me, a huge fault in this program. i do wonder how anyone deal with a large diverse library in this program as, in my experience, it does not seem suited to this at all.
Calibre is a Card Catalog on Steroids (plus other features).

You appear to be wanting some sort of heavy duty research document tool

The tag browse method is a casual way to create searches. You can always type the same search terms by hand.

VL's are a easy way to create a filtered subset of the Library. Regular Searches now apply only to the VL (subset). very handy and it keeps the unique part of the actual search a lot simpler.
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Old 06-28-2014, 06:57 PM   #9
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Calibre is a Card Catalog on Steroids (plus other features).

You appear to be wanting some sort of heavy duty research document tool

The tag browse method is a casual way to create searches. You can always type the same search terms by hand.

VL's are a easy way to create a filtered subset of the Library. Regular Searches now apply only to the VL (subset). very handy and it keeps the unique part of the actual search a lot simpler.
not heavy duty just a way to access material by how i use them and think they need to be grouped. for example if i have Carl Jung, which can mainly fall into psychology, i would still probably want to put him with my Kant and Kierkegaard etc... but "tags" from say Amazon don't have it listed under that and would not show up under Philosophy even if i did search for it meaning i would have to edit every books tag just to force it to go where i want. needless to say this would be tedious and massively time consuming.

i'm not sure anyone else noticed but tags in books are rather messy and ridiculous, one book i bought from amazon had 12 tags!

i do like the idea of having subset/groups but it would be great if these were not based on anything specific to the book like author, tags etc... and just where i want to put them. (example right click on a book and have a "add to group" option) if Calibre could do that, even by plugin, this this would be perfect/amazing for me.
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Old 06-28-2014, 08:01 PM   #10
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i'm not sure anyone else noticed but tags in books are rather messy and ridiculous, one book i bought from amazon had 12 tags!
You won't hear an argument on that one from me.
Do configure your metadata SOURCES for which you feel give best results.
You can ignore tags from some, series from another, comments from all.
It is all in the fine tuning

Bumetadata t to expect good and consistent even then
1 source, 1 series, 3 different variations on Publisher, 2 on the series name

Only 12 tags
Author/Publishers load the tags for every possible hit
Science Fiction
SF
SF&Fantasy
Dragons
Dwarves
not eve related but another tag tag
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Old 06-28-2014, 08:02 PM   #11
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Have you considered using a custom column for your groups? Use "comma separated text, like tags, shown in tag browser". Or if all your groups are pre-defined and you only have one per book, you can use "text, but with a fixed set of permitted values".

With the tag browser open, you can then drag-and-drop books from the list into their groups. Any given category would have to be assigned to at least one book before you can use drag-and-drop.
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Old 06-28-2014, 08:03 PM   #12
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@rjupiter - there are a number of library organisers that may suit you better, they target academic use more so than calibre does - Citavi, Zotero, Mendeley (it has a calibre integration plug-in), and Docear come to mind.

That said I have an economics, finance and law library of ~40,000 texts in calibre, it has less than 400 tags. I added some 'dummy books' in order to create something like a Controlled vocabulary for tags. I used the approach as documented in Managing subgroups of books to define the tags. This takes a lot of the arbitrariness out of assigning tag values. I do all the tagging by hand, my experience is that downloaded tags are inaccurate, inconsistent and much overloaded. If I need a new tag then it gets added to the relevant dummy book and then gets reused on the real books.

All the dummy books have Author Z. Z. Zzzzzzz, the Titles are Zzzz <top level genre tag>, Example, ZZZZ Banking, is tagged with Banking.Central, Banking.Investment, Banking.Retail, Banking.Shadow etc.

I gleaned my initial tag vocabulary from LoG, WSJ, FT, Faz, Yale Law etc, took a while to set it up but now its fairly stable.

Calibre has a facility called User Categories that I've just started to get my head around (after 3 years) you can read about it in this section of the manual Tag Browser. With the benefit of hindsight I would want to explore the possibility of using User Categories rather than my current approach.

One thing you may find confusing, I know I did at first, is that the calibre software and the documentation tend to use the words Tag and Category somewhat loosely. I overcame my confusion by mentally replacing the term 'Tag Browser' with 'Category Browser'.

Another thing I do is to use the Windows Search facility to search the content of books, this means I have to keep a searchable format, which sadly most ebook formats aren't with WDS, so I always have a PDF or DOCX version. I search the library folder directly, I suffer no noticeable performance penalties in calibre or anything else. I wrote a primitive AHK script to create a CSV from the WDS results that I use as input to the Import List PI from which I create a Reading List.

If you are using Linux then you might want to take a look at this plug-in [GUI Plugin] Recoll Full Text Search, Recoll is a context indexer/searcher for Linux.

If your using OS/X then you have the Spotlight search facility, it indexes most ebook formats. shouldn't be too hard to write an Applescript to create a CSV from the results, or you could create something like the Recoll plugin.

You mentioned you're using a 7" monitor, to be honest I find it hard to imagine using calibre on such a small monitor no matter how high the resolution.

Don't give up on calibre too quickly, yes it has a steep learning curve, but it also has a level of flexibility and extensibility that is hard to match. And unlike many software products it is being continually updated with new features and improvements.

BR

Last edited by BetterRed; 06-28-2014 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 06-28-2014, 08:34 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by BetterRed View Post
@rjupiter - there are a number of library organisers that may suit you better, they target academic use more so than calibre does - Citavi, Zotero, Mendeley (it has a calibre integration plug-in), and Docear come to mind.

That said I have an economics, finance and law library of ~40,000 texts in calibre, it has less than 400 tags. I added some 'dummy books' in order to create something like a Controlled vocabulary for tags. I used the approach as documented in Managing subgroups of books to define the tags. This takes a lot of the arbitrariness out of assigning tag values. I do all the tagging by hand, my experience is that downloaded tags are inaccurate, inconsistent and much overloaded. If I need a new tag then it gets added to the relevant dummy book and then gets reused on the real books.

All the dummy books have Author Z. Z. Zzzzzzz, the Titles are Zzzz <top level genre tag>, Example, ZZZZ Banking, is tagged with Banking.Central, Banking.Investment, Banking.Retail, Banking.Shadow etc.

I gleaned my initial tag vocabulary from LoG, WSJ, FT, Faz, Yale Law etc, took a while to set it up but now its fairly stable.

Calibre has a facility called User Categories that I've just started to get my head around (after 3 years) you can read about it in this section of the manual Tag Browser. With the benefit of hindsight I would want to explore the possibility of using User Categories rather than my current approach.

One thing you may find confusing, I know I did at first, is that the calibre software and the documentation tend to use the words Tag and Category somewhat loosely. I overcame my confusion by mentally replacing the term 'Tag Browser' with 'Category Browser'.

Another thing I do is to use the Windows Search facility to search the content of books, this means I have to keep a searchable format, which sadly most ebook formats aren't with WDS, so I always have a PDF or DOCX version. I search the library folder directly, note I suffer no noticeable performance penalties when I add new texts to calibre. I wrote a primitive AHK script to create a CSV from the WDS results that I use as input to the Import List PI from when I create a Reading List.

If you are using Linux then you might want to take a look at this plug-in [GUI Plugin] Recoll Full Text Search, Recoll is a context indexer/searcher for Linux.

If your using OS/X then you have the Spotlight search facility, it indexes most ebook formats. shouldn't be too hard to write an Applescript to do something like my AHK script or you could create something like the Recoll plugin.

You mentioned you're using a 7" monitor, to be honest I find it hard to imagine using calibre on such a small monitor no matter how high the resolution.

Don't give up on calibre too quickly, yes it has a steep learning curve, but it also has a level of flexibility and extensibility that is hard to match. And unlike many software products it is being continually updated with new features and improvements.

BR

thanks, but i feel like i would need a manual and a very long weekend just to make a dent. i thought foobar (a music player very similar to calibre) was a bit of pain to start learning this might be a bit worse. i get that it can do a lot the problem is the barrier to entry is rather steep and at times not very user friendly. its feels like i am trying to shoehorn something that seems, to me, rather simple but takes 50 steps to accomplish it.

right now i use calibre with my tablet, which is why the screen is small, as trying to read book on my 23" monitor stuck on my desk is just completely unideal.

right now though i'm not sure if i'm going to stick with it or not but seeing as how i don't want to be strapped down by Amazon etc... i may trudge through.
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Old 06-28-2014, 08:40 PM   #14
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think i am going to try and play with the tag browser and "user categories" like others suggested. i'll see how that goes.
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Old 06-28-2014, 09:12 PM   #15
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i'm not sure anyone else noticed but tags in books are rather messy and ridiculous, one book i bought from amazon had 12 tags!
Yeah, some of those are a horrid mess! I revise the tags on all my books and have the automatic import of tags when updating metadata turned off. Then I add my one or two tags based on how I view the books.
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