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Old 03-07-2010, 02:03 PM   #1
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Tips for managing a large collection?

I'm starting to find it a bit unwieldy to manage my large library. I just did a big tag reorg, and went to find books I was sure I had but the author was tagged the wrong way or something. In one case, I had an author where I was sure I had more from her than what Calibre was telling me. One of the books was tagged 'Fictionwise' which I was sure I bought there and when I went to check my Fictionwise account for which others I had, that book was not in there.

I think I also have vague ideas that down the road, I might want to share books with an eventual husband or child or something and would want them to have a way to wade through my very large collection for books of interest. There is too much in there now, some great, some only so-so but I won't get rid of, and a tiny handful I took out of Calibre because I could not stand then. Also, I have found that Calibre seems to run much slower when I leave multiple formats of things lying around, so when the book is an epub I have converted, I have removed the epub original into a backup directory outside of Calibre.

So, here is my current 'system; and I welcome suggestions for making this easier to manage.

1- The Stars. I use these to denote the book's current 'status' for lack of a better word. No stars means it's ready to go on the Kindle at some point. 1 star means I have read it and it is now part of the general library. 2 stars means it is an e-copy of an old favourite from my paper days and I plan to re-read it someday once I get through my new stuff. 3 stars means it is on the Kindle right now. Four stars means it is personal content like documents for work. 5 stars means I have no plans to read it but I will not delete it for some reason.

2- The Tags. I use tags for genre (mystery, science fiction, magazine etc), for source (Fictionwise, Kobo, Internet etc.) or type (anthology, magazine etc.) I also have a new ratings tag for books I have read and books which are favourites. I have just re-done them all to include the actual word 'Genre' in the genre tags, the actual word 'Source' in the source tags etc. so that when I use the browser in Calibre and they sort alphabetically, all the genre ones are grouped together, all the source ones are grouped together etc.

3- Collections. I just started using this because I had several authors where I had many books by them and I thought my tags list would get too long if I started adding author tags. So, about a dozen authors, I went through and made collections with author name. That way, if someone is in the mood for, say, Agatha Christie, they can just go to that collection and there they are.

I like the star thing because I can easily see which books are on the Kindle and which are not. The tags and collections though, it is getting a bit out of hand. Some of my tags have several hundred books attached to them and I worry that if I create too many tags, it will be a mess to browse. So I need to just bite the bullet and use a more detailed database where a hypothetical other family member would have more flexible browsing options and can just get the title they want that way and use Calibre only for downloading? Or any suggestions for streamlining my Calibre system a little to accommodate this many books?
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Old 03-07-2010, 07:39 PM   #2
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The biggest problem I'm having is keeping my Calibre library synchronized on a desktop and a laptop. But as the collection grows, I do find that intelligent tagging really helps.
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Old 03-07-2010, 08:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ficbot View Post
3- Collections. I just started using this because I had several authors where I had many books by them and I thought my tags list would get too long if I started adding author tags. So, about a dozen authors, I went through and made collections with author name. That way, if someone is in the mood for, say, Agatha Christie, they can just go to that collection and there they are.
I love Collections, but I use it for series only. I don't see a point for any particular author collections, because both Calibre and every ereader I've used allows you to sort by author. So if you're in the mood for Christie, just sort by author and flip down to the C's.

-Marcy
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Old 03-08-2010, 01:35 AM   #4
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There really needs to be a dedicated program for organization of electronic books. I look at Calibre more as a conversion program, since it becomes very unwieldy with large amounts of books. Delicious Library would be a great program for this but strangely, the developers of this program have no interest and don't seem to understand why there would be a demand for such a function, even though their forum is filled with people asking for just this function. I am at a loss as to their reluctance to implement it.
The market is there for someone to create a fantastic electronic book storage program, with tags and folders and cover images and such. Hopefully one will come out soon.
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Old 03-08-2010, 02:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Swift View Post
There really needs to be a dedicated program for organization of electronic books.
Either this or Calibre needs two sets of tags. For managing the books on Calibre lots of tags are good - helps to find and sort books in several different ways. But on the reader (PRS600) these tags currently translate into different collections. This is very annoying and makes finding a specific book amongst all the collections a pain.

I think it would be good to have a set of tags for organizing and a set of tags for managing the collections on the reader.
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Old 03-08-2010, 03:47 AM   #6
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tags

I use a "unread" tag for those books that I have not read yet.

So far I am happy with my library in calibre, ever so often I do have to go in and add and adjust tags.

I have not really used other programs except Librarian. Which did not have as many functions as Calibre.

The biggest problem I have is too many books on my ereader at once, and trying to figure out which one to read next!

Amy
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:11 AM   #7
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I am managing my 27 GB collection of Russian books with myHomeLib without any problems and it's more convenient then calibre in library use (sorting, finding, viewing metadata etc). It is mostly for fb2 format and conversion is done by plugins.
It's missing some functionality like recepies though and the number of supported formats is lower, so I still keep Calibre around.

http://home-lib.net/myhomelib
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Old 03-08-2010, 09:10 AM   #8
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I purchased All My Books to keep track of my ebooks.

I keep all my books on an external 500GB hard drive and use All My Books to manage them. What I really like about it is I can click a link and AMB will search a number of sites for details and plug the information in for me. I can also open the books directly from AMB in case I want to look at it without copying it to my reader. I no longer forget what I've already purchased which is a big plus for me.
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Old 03-08-2010, 01:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starrigger View Post
The biggest problem I'm having is keeping my Calibre library synchronized on a desktop and a laptop. But as the collection grows, I do find that intelligent tagging really helps.
Have you tried DropBox?

BOb

(IF you don't have a dropbox yet and want to try it, can you use my referal link so I can get a bit more space for free: https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTMwMDU2MDk)

BOb
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Old 03-08-2010, 01:26 PM   #10
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Have you tried DropBox?

BOb

(IF you don't have a dropbox yet and want to try it, can you use my referal link so I can get a bit more space for free: https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTMwMDU2MDk)

BOb
I used your link!
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Old 03-08-2010, 03:12 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by drmaxx View Post
Either this or Calibre needs two sets of tags. For managing the books on Calibre lots of tags are good - helps to find and sort books in several different ways. But on the reader (PRS600) these tags currently translate into different collections. This is very annoying and makes finding a specific book amongst all the collections a pain.

I think it would be good to have a set of tags for organizing and a set of tags for managing the collections on the reader.
Calibre has support for controlling which specific tags are turned into collections. In the preferences dialog, go look for Plug-ins, and customize the plugin for your Sony reader. If this isn't clear, ask for help in the Calibre forum.

Xenophon
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Old 03-08-2010, 04:06 PM   #12
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Calibre has support for controlling which specific tags are turned into collections. In the preferences dialog, go look for Plug-ins, and customize the plugin for your Sony reader.

This makes things really easier!!!! Thanks a lot. Now I just need to add all the tags that I removed
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Old 03-08-2010, 04:54 PM   #13
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This is an interesting discussion but does not belong in News and commentary. It is specific to management and we have a forum for that. I will move it.
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Old 03-08-2010, 04:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drmaxx View Post
Either this or Calibre needs two sets of tags. For managing the books on Calibre lots of tags are good - helps to find and sort books in several different ways. But on the reader (PRS600) these tags currently translate into different collections. This is very annoying and makes finding a specific book amongst all the collections a pain.

I think it would be good to have a set of tags for organizing and a set of tags for managing the collections on the reader.
On my PRS 600 I use structured tags. For instance:

comics where I put items that I like to keep in a disordered heap
comics.pecos bill
comics.donald duck
comics.phantom
...
fiction
fiction.wallace
fiction.de botton
fiction.hemingway
...

and so with the rest of my books, using author or name or an other indicator
like in

philosophy
philosophy.plato
philosophy.aristoteles
philosophy.middleage
...
philosophy.reference (I put there a philosophical dictionary, books on history of philosophy ...)

where I use author, period of time, use and so on


each is treated as a separate collection. And it is not difficult to navigate around.

At the top I use special tags that start with a numeral

1.news
2.utilities (I put there the manual, the world fact book, dictionaries or encyclopedia if I ever will buy any,...)

I hope that this might be useful
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Old 03-11-2010, 03:23 AM   #15
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I use Win2k cos it works for me, and I'm not the into alot of upgrading. Is there an ebook managment program that works with that? Hope so, I've acquired an awful lot of them, and it's getting confusing not to know when I've picked up double copies.
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