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Old 01-28-2019, 12:11 PM   #1
TdeV
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What about library management of PHYSICAL books

Does anyone add their physical library to their Calibre system? How well does it work? Drawbacks?

TIA
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Old 01-28-2019, 01:30 PM   #2
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Library Management

I meant that I use Calibre for my ebook library. But now I'm wondering whether people also use Calibre to manage their paper book library.
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Old 01-28-2019, 01:42 PM   #3
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That is what Add from ISBN, Add empty book are about

Back when I joined MR I used Add from ISBN in batches of 10-20 so I could resolve the (metadata) failures before grabbing another stack. I used a Keyboard wedge Barcode scanner (The wedge mode simulates a Keyboard AND allows you to type when you get one that wont read OR before barcodes)
In some case, I used the Search The Internet Plugins Search for images to find a cover that matched my edition.

BTW Add from ISBN also allows you to TAG the batch: Location, owner are possibilities
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Old 01-28-2019, 06:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by TdeV View Post
Does anyone add their physical library to their Calibre system? How well does it work? Drawbacks?

TIA
When I started using calibre, I saved a .CSV (authors and title) from an existing Excel spreadsheet, and then used the Import List plugin to create 'books' in an Intake library from the .CSV file. I then edited the metadata in the library - subject tags, publisher, series etc before moving the 'books' to the target library.

When I get a new paper book, I add an empty book (Shift+Ctrl+E) with author, title, and series data (if any) and give it #admin-tags of "paper book" and "_new" and add the other metadata, publisher, pubdate, subject tags etc.

allow entry of ISBN when adding empty book.

Downside - calibre won't fetch the book from the shelf - yet

BR

Last edited by BetterRed; 01-28-2019 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 02-02-2019, 05:18 PM   #5
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If you share your paper library with other family members and friends, it's actually nice to have it in Calibre because they can read the blurb about the book on their computer. If you don't share it, I think it is more cumbersome than alternatives, including spreadsheets. Just my opinion. My bro spent countless hours on cataloguing books, albums, DVDs and other stuff rather than spend the time just using them. I kept a list solely for insurance purposes and even stopped doing that since you don't get replacement value (I just use photos of the stuff now) unless it is a separately listed VALUABLE book.
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Old 02-02-2019, 07:15 PM   #6
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Does anyone add their physical library to their Calibre system? How well does it work? Drawbacks?

TIA
I've tried that, but typing in the metadata for e-books and articles is painful enough, I'm not typing in the metdata for more hard-copy books unless I find some way to make it less painful.

ISBN is useful when books have ISBNs, but I still have to reformat the authors' names, strip out existing tags, and add my own tags.
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Old 02-03-2019, 06:54 PM   #7
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I`ve maintained a database of my pbooks since I was a teen (I started with index cards and moved to digital later). I imported it into calibre using inport list when I became tired of having two book databases.

Having started with writing by hand, I find the data entry fairly painless in comparison.
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Old 02-03-2019, 07:17 PM   #8
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I do it myself. I've tried out other programs for cataloging them (Spacejock's BookDB, the now-discontinued bookTome, and a few others that are long-forgotten) but were never really happy with them. One day I was wishing there was a program exactly like Calibre for paper books and then it clicked for me.

My method is to add them by ISBN (or "add empty books" for pre-ISBN entries), correct any information where needed, then add empty .paperbook files to all of them. This allows me to use search queries to separate all the paper books off to their own virtual library.

Eventually when I get my living situation sorted out, I'd like to make a custom column that lists exactly which shelf I keep the physical books on. I have memory problems so it'd be pretty helpful.

Last edited by ownedbycats; 02-03-2019 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 02-03-2019, 10:09 PM   #9
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Eventually when I get my living situation sorted out, I'd like to make a custom column that lists exactly which shelf I keep the physical books on. I have memory problems so it'd be pretty helpful.
It's because you are owned by cats. They want you to think only of their needs.
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Old 02-04-2019, 08:57 PM   #10
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It's because you are owned by cats. They want you to think only of their needs.
Yup, pretty much.
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:33 AM   #11
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I did that almost a soon as I started using Calibre, I had a spreadsheet with all the books in it but it was never up to date.

I added columns, for location, loaned, haveepub, condition & format (Hardcover, Paperback etc.)

I had a small program I wrote so I could drag/drop a link from fantasticfiction or goodreads, and it created a cover and an opf file with the relevant info, prompted me for my custom fields and added it to my "Physical" library. Then on exit waited for Calbre to close and ran an sql query to autoupdate the haveepub column.
I'm pretty sure it wouldn't work since version 3 and as it's been a few years since I bought a "real" book I haven't needed it.

One of these days I need to go through the boxes and boxes of books that haven't been opened since I moved over a decade ago, select ones got unpacked, and the rest sit there.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:48 AM   #12
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I just made a custom column 'Other Formats'. There I enter 'paper' for physical books, just to remind me that I have one. And 'pdf', 'mobi' or 'lit' -- for formats that I keep off-Calibre but don't want to delete for various reasons. Empty book for paper edition I bother only when it's part of the series. I've quite enough of empty entries for all the novelettes and shorts that are #xx.xx of some series, but bundled in anthology (and I'm not gonna break it up). Or if there is significant difference between ebook and paper, it'd probably qualify for separate entry (like the illustrated edition of Da Vinci Code).
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