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Old 09-19-2010, 12:04 AM   #1
Fat Abe
Man Who Stares at Books
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Full Text Search Engine

I am attempting to catalog my ebooks by keywords and quotations. Short of bulk converting the various formats to txt files, how difficult is it to search in the native formats for keywords like "murder" or phrases like "court trial"? Is this beyond the scope of programs like Calibre, which contains drivers that are capable of decoding the major formats?

It's interesting that movies have been around for a much shorter time than books, yet we have major web sites, such as the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com), set up to provide keywords and synopses of several hundred thousand movies. Punch in a keyword such as presumed-dead, and out should pop the famous movie that featured Gene Tierney. (OK, we're working on that at imdb). Here's a page from imdb that allows the user to search for titles by keyword:

http://www.imdb.com/Sections/Keywords/

Granted, millions of books and short stories have been published, but why must an avid reader have to visit multiple sites to collect information that can be placed on a single site? Some of you, like Dennis McCunney, must have an encyclopedic memory for plots and themes. How do we distill this information so it becomes available to all readers and writers, not just librarians?

Last edited by Fat Abe; 09-19-2010 at 12:53 AM. Reason: add link
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Old 09-21-2010, 05:30 PM   #2
Xenophon
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If you use a Mac, and you can find a spotlight plugin for ePub files (shouldn't be too hard), you can simply search using spotlight. It does both keywords and full-text search pretty well. A quick google search turned up some choices for me.
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