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Old 02-12-2020, 08:43 PM   #1
markus98
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How could I document my reading history in Calibre (book status read / not-read / fin

Do you have any idea if I somehow can document in a simple and nice way the read-status of a book in my library?

e.g. book read, book not read, finished reading at date

I do not manage only purchased books in my library, but also books someone just recommended to me. Basically, Calibre is my personal library I go to if I want to pick the next book.
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Old 02-12-2020, 09:18 PM   #2
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A few options:
  • You can create a custom column for "Read Status" or whatever title you like
  • You can add tags "read", "unread", "wishlist"
  • If you're not rating your books, you could use the Ratings column and assign stars to your reading status
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Old 02-12-2020, 09:24 PM   #3
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This is a frequently discussed topic, and there are a lot of solutions people do. The simplest solution is to add a yes/no column and set it to yes when finished. Another is to use the rating column and set that when finished. If you want the date read, then add a date column and set that it when finished.

Personally, I use a few things:

Firstly, I use "percent read" and "date last read" columns. These are automatically retrieved from my Kobo devices when I plug them in. Unread means those columns have nothing and 100% means it is finished.

I also use the Reading List plugin. That has a list for "To Read", "Reading" and "Read". Adding a book to one of these updates a column with the matching status. Removing the book from the list, removes the status. I have other lists and statuses for other things. The status column is used to create collections on my Kobo devices.

I also update the status on Goodreads. This is automatically done (using the Goodreads Sync plugin) when the status is fetched from my devices.

Lastly, I have some column icon rules that set an icon in the percent read column based on the state. A tick means it has been read, an open book for reading, a star if the book is finished but doesn't have a rating and some other things.
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Old 02-12-2020, 09:27 PM   #4
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From very simple where Rating = "I've Read It" to custom columns for Read date, Status, Progress, Review. Hook in plugins like Goodreads Sync, Reading List, icons for different lists, custom color for read books, you have a very flexible setup.

Here's an idea what can be accomplished:
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Old 02-12-2020, 09:29 PM   #5
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You can do it with custom columns: e.g. reading_status (wanted, not read, started, discarded, finished, read again etc) and a couple of dates: start_reading and end-reading.

I have a reading_status custom column, I use the built-in Date column for end_reading, they're adjacent columns in the list that I maintain via F2 editing.

You could also use the Reading List plugin and/or the Calibre Companion app.

Start with something simple that you maintain manually, its easier to add bells and whistles, automation etc than it is to take them away when you realise they're superfluous.

BR

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Old 02-13-2020, 06:03 AM   #6
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I feel like I've been doing this a lot recently, but I second (or third, or whatever) the recommendation to use the Reading List plugin.

I also use a virtual library making use of the tag "tbr" and sort that by date.
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Old 02-13-2020, 02:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidfor View Post

Firstly, I use "percent read" and "date last read" columns. These are automatically retrieved from my Kobo devices when I plug them in. Unread means those columns have nothing and 100% means it is finished.
Does that column work with Kindles? Could you do 99 percent, as sometimes books have previews at the end and I usually skip those, but I have read the book.
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blakestr View Post
Does that column work with Kindles? Could you do 99 percent, as sometimes books have previews at the end and I usually skip those, but I have read the book.
Reading status (in Calibre) is mostly MANUAL.
Kobo Utilities managed to access the data on Kobos. Many others (Kindle) do not allow this
I use a date column. Blank = not read, A date of 2000 means I abandoned the book, any other later date = done (I skip Previews also. Messes my mind when browsing 'Oh I have read this', when in fact, it was just a sample )
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Old 02-13-2020, 08:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blakestr View Post
Does that column work with Kindles? Could you do 99 percent, as sometimes books have previews at the end and I usually skip those, but I have read the book.
Apart from the ratings column, all the columns I mentioned, are custom columns I have added. And as @theducks mentioned, these are set from the device using my Kobo Utilities plugin. This only works with Kobo devices. To the best of my knowledge, it is not possible to retrieve the equivalent information from a Kindle.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:08 PM   #10
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To the best of my knowledge, it is not possible to retrieve the equivalent information from a Kindle.
Kindles do keep track of percentage read in files that can be accessed from the device. I don’t believe that anyone has bothered to make use of this information so far. (I have no interest in doing so.)
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:14 PM   #11
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Thanks, that was really very useful and I set up parts of that already in my library. I had not idea that you could even sync the reading status. I do not need that but its really good to know that even more is possiblee
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:20 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by uli View Post
From very simple where Rating = "I've Read It" to custom columns for Read date, Status, Progress, Review. Hook in plugins like Goodreads Sync, Reading List, icons for different lists, custom color for read books, you have a very flexible setup.

Here's an idea what can be accomplished:
Thanks for the screenshot - I see you added the custom columns to the sidebar. Can you show me how you added those?

I just added two custom columns: read, finished

I can perform searches and run saved searches, but would be nice to also have it just available directly on the sidebar to quickly filter out my library to all "read" books or "not read" books, etc.
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:22 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by BetterRed View Post
Start with something simple that you maintain manually, its easier to add bells and whistles, automation etc than it is to take them away when you realise they're superfluous.

BR
Good point, I definitely want to keep it simple and do not even want to spend too much time for it. Till now I just "tracked" it in Evernote. Of course it would be better to have it directly within Calibre. It's just nice to look back and see when you read what.
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:25 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Bookstooge View Post
I feel like I've been doing this a lot recently, but I second (or third, or whatever) the recommendation to use the Reading List plugin.

I also use a virtual library making use of the tag "tbr" and sort that by date.
I only had a quick look at the Reading List plugin. While it has for sure more features than I need, I think for the basic workflow this plugin just simplifies how to set a status of a custom column. That's how I understood it so far.

Without Reading List:
Need to go to edit metadata and manually change the status of the custom column "read" to yes or no

With Reading List:
Still not fantastic usability, but just add a book to the list "read" and it will change the custom column "read" as well to "yes"

Please correct me if I am wrong as this would be my intention on how to use it.
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Old 02-15-2020, 12:24 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by markus98 View Post
I just added two custom columns: read, finished
I'm guessing you made a Yes/No column for finished.

Instead, try "Comma separated, like tags, shown in tag browser", even if it's one tag, maybe you'll add want-to-read/abandoned/etc later...



For "not read", best to click twice on Read (for a Not search) instead of labeling every new book not read.

P.S. drag a book onto the sidebar to quickly mark a book "finished"... no need to go Edit Metadata, Custom Metadata then enter 'finished'.
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