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Old 01-21-2011, 06:04 PM   #1
BMaloney
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Should I organize my ebook files?

Hello everyone. I have just started organizing my ebooks with Calibre and I am wondering: how important is it to have the original files in order?

Through Calibre, everything is ordered very nicely in the library and you can change the metadata or the list order as you please. But that is only on the surface. Underneath, the various files are saved in many different folders on the computer's hard drive. It is tempting to ignore the disorder that is just beneath. It's really too easy.

But, if I may use a metaphor, it's a lot like a library deciding that it only needs to organize its index cards - the books can be left in heaps on the floor - because we're lucky enough to have a little helper (let's call him a homunculus ) who fetches us books 24/7.

Once upon a time, I would have changed the file name of each book (putting surname first comma first name period book tile period publisher... ...) and I would have made neat little archival folders (possibly ordered chronologically or something like that) so that the original files would be easy to find and/or open. But I am really tempted to just not bother with any of it. If I need something, I can just search for it. Maybe it's not about what's "above" or "beneath." Tags or folders, it's all just metadata anyway.

Am I missing something? Does it make any difference if Calibre is importing from 1000 different folders or one central one? Does Calibre really allow me to be that lazy?

Thanks for hearing me out.
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:31 PM   #2
CazMar
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Looking at my own set-up Calibre is just copying the whole file for each book plus its own data into another directory I have set up just for Calibre books . Once that is done then I just archive all the original EPUb files I have downloaded, other stuff I have in other directories. I do this archiving about every 2-3 months and just store all the files on a DVD and delete them off my computer. I have a lot of space on my hard drive but really just don't like having a lot of duplicate files and unwanted junk on my computer, no doubt a hang-over from the days of computers with very limited hard disk sizes! This way I also find it easier to back up data files on my computer because files are stored on the secondary D drive rather than the C drive which holds programs and operating data. I am such a computer tidy freak - pity it doesn't carry over to my house!
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:46 PM   #3
BMaloney
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Thanks very much CazMar! That really was an Aha! moment.

I had no idea Calibre was copying the whole file into its own directories. Therefore the tags, etc., do not refer to the original document! One of the scenarios I imagined, for example, was deleting the original file and Calibre telling me "data error: file not found" or something like that.

Then it's a question of principal! Order! I definitely will organize the original files. And after that, I'll have to get around to those heaps of books on the floor too...

Cheers!
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:27 PM   #4
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The guiding principal behind calibre's ebook management is search and filter. So much so that you shouldn't ever touch the calibre library and the books inside of it as it's stored on your computer. If you need a book search for it. If you want to get it out of calibre use the Save to Disk option. So yes, the whole point of calibre's management features are to let you be lazy. Instead of spending hours organizing it lets you spend minutes finding what you want so you can read it.
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:29 PM   #5
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Fortunately I don't need to any of that yet. I have five electronic books by two different authors, one folder for one author and a second folder for the second author.
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