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Old 08-09-2019, 02:24 PM   #16
CWatkinsNash
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I just use Goodreads and also have my Kindle update my reading status / shelves on there.
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Old 08-09-2019, 02:31 PM   #17
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Boy it would sure be nice if there was a website that listed just about every author known to man and all their books - arranged into series and then sorted into oldest to newest - with checkboxes by each title that I could click on and save.
You could try out LibraryThing. I keep my 'master' catalogue there - pbooks, pdfs and ebooks. $25 for a lifetime membership 10 years ago was the best online purchase I made. (The free membership limits you to 200 books.).

I import all my ebooks into Calibre, tidy up the metadata, convert Kindle books to epub, split omnibuses, then log everything on LibraryThing. Only about 1/3 of my ebooks come from Amazon - probably creeping up now - so Calibre is a necessity for me.
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Old 08-10-2019, 08:28 AM   #18
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I think Amazon shot them selves in the foot when they blocked Author Alerts. When Author Alert sent me a notice of a new book I would usually buy it at Amazon, unless it was a Baen Book.
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Old 08-10-2019, 09:47 AM   #19
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I actually use the collections on my Kindle. When I buy a new book I'm not going to read yet it goes into the TBR Collection. Then when I'm ready to read it I put it in my Now Reading collection. Then I have all my books in their own specific collections under genre or series name. I use calibre but only to back up my books in case Amazon tries to steal them🤨

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Old 08-10-2019, 06:57 PM   #20
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My biggest gripe with Goodreads is their series names often do not match the series name on author websites and/or series name on publisher websites. FantasticFiction is a good place to check books in a series, although they also, often use their own series name. I like to search there by author name; and, they are about the best I've found to have/show alternate titles - a biggie with books published in the US and the UK...
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Old 08-11-2019, 08:17 AM   #21
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I think Amazon shot them selves in the foot when they blocked Author Alerts. When Author Alert sent me a notice of a new book I would usually buy it at Amazon, unless it was a Baen Book.
Apache
Same here. It might be different if Amazon is ever able to get their follow author to work properly, but I'm been using it for a long time and it only works sporadically at best. Author Alert was much more reliable.
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Old 08-11-2019, 01:54 PM   #22
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I buy an ebook when I'm ready to begin reading it. Then I read it. The end.
This is exactly what I do.

...or it will be as soon as I get through my pesky TBR.

Seriously, here's what I do:

After acquiring a new book I will import it into Calibre but not into my main library. This is purely to let the tools do the DeDRM thing.

I then go find the file and run a script that does an import into my real Calibre library. It also adds some values for the custom columns I have. It also backs up the file to a directory of "original files".

I will now go into Calibre itself and run through a few steps

- convert to whichever of epub/azw the file is not.
- run the word count plugin against it and populate the columns for that
- run the Goodreads sync plugin so it gets added to my "to read" shelf
- I may download the metadata if there's no description with the original file and if the cover is better.
- fix any issues with the main metadata (usually this is just fixing the title - why do publishers love to add a strapline or series name as part of the title?)

Then I'll quit Calibre. My main library is in Nextcloud (think self-hosted Dropbox) and so I'll let it sync the changes. I know the caveats about running Calibre on a network sync'd folder but I do it because it's so convenient and I'm careful to only run one Calibre client at a time. Plus I have my backups so I can re-import it if I need to.

At this stage I may log in to my Raspberry PI that runs a COPS instance. This usually syncs once every 24 hours but I can run a script to force it. As well as update the folder with the Calibre library it updates a custom column that gives me a read time based on the word count (yes I tried to do it with a formula, had lots of issues, this turned out to be a better way to do it)

In terms of organization my Calibre library has columns for no of times read, last and first read time, series, genre, word count, read time and a couple of others. I have various virtual libraries which display as tabs. So I can quickly switch to unread books, or books I read this year, books of a certain length etc.

I also add records (but not files) for library books with a due date so I can hopefully remember to read them before I need to return them. I have a "library books due" virtual library.

The COPS site on my PI is always on which means I should always have access to my books where ever I am from whatever device. Technically I could do this from Nextcloud by navigating to the correct folder and downloading the file, but not all devices will do that and COPS is just nicer.

This may sound like a lot of work but it's not. At least not now that I've got it up and running, scripts written etc. It's an extra 5 mins when I initially buy the book. (or the first time I'm at my PC after buying the book). It's taken me longer to describe than it does to do.

One thing I definitely don't do is edit the book. To justify spending time editing the formatting needs to be sufficiently awful and I have to feel I will re-read it. Otherwise life's too short.
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Old 08-11-2019, 03:22 PM   #23
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One thing I definitely don't do is edit the book. To justify spending time editing the formatting needs to be sufficiently awful and I have to feel I will re-read it. Otherwise life's too short.
I edit all my books. Actually the editing takes less time than fixing the metadata (titles, covers, descriptions etc), unless the formatting is ultra-terrible, which is rare these days, even for self-pubs. Usually it takes a couple of minutes per book, sometimes a bit more. I don't mind the time spent on it.
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Old 08-11-2019, 03:45 PM   #24
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You could try out LibraryThing. I keep my 'master' catalogue there - pbooks, pdfs and ebooks. $25 for a lifetime membership 10 years ago was the best online purchase I made. (The free membership limits you to 200 books.).
+1 LT is so much better than post-Amazon GoodReads. Pity the site loads so slowly though.
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Old 08-11-2019, 03:59 PM   #25
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Calibre. It's irreplaceable to me. I also switch from laptop to tablet constantly and therefore I keep my library in Dropbox, so I can use Calibre on both devices.
This is the only method that makes sense to me. I've been doing it for about 4 years and then it just doesnt matter what device you're on, you can always access your Calibre library, either via Calibre itself or via a web interface. No issue.
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Old 08-11-2019, 04:04 PM   #26
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One thing I definitely don't do is edit the book. To justify spending time editing the formatting needs to be sufficiently awful and I have to feel I will re-read it. Otherwise life's too short.
Normally I'd agree, but I have had two books which for some godforsaken reason were formatted with extra line breaks and centred on the page. Impossible to read, needed reformatting right away. Well, I did one, and I keep putting the other aside and thinking I'll do it later and then never quite get round to it, because its a PITA.
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Old 08-11-2019, 04:54 PM   #27
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I think Amazon shot them selves in the foot when they blocked Author Alerts. When Author Alert sent me a notice of a new book I would usually buy it at Amazon, unless it was a Baen Book.
Apache
I get updates about new books from Amazon. I follow the authors on Amazon and Goodreads. My sense is that Amazon is more timely; I can't remember if I've received updates about new books from Goodreads.

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Originally Posted by pwalker8 View Post
Same here. It might be different if Amazon is ever able to get their follow author to work properly, but I'm been using it for a long time and it only works sporadically at best. Author Alert was much more reliable.
Hmm, so maybe I'm getting sporadic updates and didn't realize it.

Last edited by lumpynose; 08-11-2019 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 08-11-2019, 05:02 PM   #28
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One thing I definitely don't do is edit the book. To justify spending time editing the formatting needs to be sufficiently awful and I have to feel I will re-read it. Otherwise life's too short.
After reading all of the stuff that you do do I'm a bit surprised that you don't also edit the formatting.
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Old 08-11-2019, 05:09 PM   #29
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After acquiring a new book I will import it into Calibre but not into my main library. This is purely to let the tools do the DeDRM thing...
This is similar in concept to what I do.

I run my "main" Calibre instance on my desktop computer. Nobody has access to that other than me. This is where I import all new books, download metadata, add tags, etc. This is also where I'll do bulk downloads to my Kindle. That's rare for me, but every now and then I'll want to download a dozen books or so. I will use Calibre's "transfer to device" for that. This "main" Calibre instance is backed up to a remote server, with daily snapshots being kept for a year, then they are rolled up into monthlys after that.

My desktop Calibre instance is rsync'ed over to my server ("rsync" is a Linux command - think of it as an advanced "copy" command). This is a nightly job, but I usually invoke the script manually after adding a new book, so the nightly job is really just a backup for syncing things.

Once on my server, the Calibre library is mounted read-only into a Docker container that runs the "Calibre-Web" app. Think of "Docker" as an easy to control way of isolating apps from each other to provide more system security and functionality. "Calibre-Web" is similar to Calibre's built-in server, and similar to COPS, but I like it better than either of those. My family and a few select friends have access to my Calibre library, but only via Calibre-Web. I use Calibre-Web myself for most everything other than initial book importing and the batch downloads to my Kindle that I mentioned earlier. Single book downloads are easily done via Calibre-Web.

Calibre-Web is then made available via an Nginx/LetsEncrypt Docker container acting as a reverse proxy. Configured for HTTPS for encryption and server validation, but also configured to require client certificates for access. So things are locked down tightly to only allow access to people that I want to have access. Much more secure than login/password. This Calibre instance on my server is also backed up to a remote server. If you're wondering, why yes, I did used to work for the Redundancy Department of Redundancy!
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Old 08-11-2019, 05:10 PM   #30
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For my simple organization I was using calibre's virtual libraries but I found that too chancy because sometimes I wasn't paying attention and be in the wrong virtual library and do something to the wrong books. So now I'm back to using separate calibre libraries which I like even better than before because I've re-discovered the copy-to-library function which I use with its (delete after copy) variant. My main library is just named calibre, the others are calibre-finished, calibre-css-fixed, and calibre-programming (stuff that I'm unlikely to ever read now that I'm retired).

New books go into the plain calibre library, after having their css cleaned/fixed they get moved into calibre-css-fixed and from there they get pushed to the ereader, then after I've finished it I move it to calibre-finished.

I do wish that calibre had a way with virtual libraries to show multiple libraries together.

Last edited by lumpynose; 08-11-2019 at 05:16 PM.
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