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Old 07-17-2017, 06:54 AM   #1
ben_hud
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eBook naming convention and organizing digital library

Hello, I'm looking for some ideas on how to manage my digital libraries. My ebook collection has been growing quite rapidly after I decided books were a more rewarding form of entertainment for me than television a couple of months ago.

Currently I place all my ebooks, no matter which format they are in, in 'My Documents -> eBooks'. I rename all my eBooks when I get them in this format: "George R.R. Martin - A Dance with Dragons". Then I add them to Calibre and use Calibre to do the conversions automatically for copying to my iPad or newly acquired Kindle.

I absolutely hate it when they come in all sorts of different naming conventions when buying from different stores. Even the same stores can't seem to stick to one naming convention when I buy an entire series.

How do other members on this forum order their large ebook collection? Do you create folders per author? Then subfolders per series? I'm very interested to hear what you have to say and your thoughts on my current naming convention.

Ben
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:02 AM   #2
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I use calibre and organise my books there using the standard metadata and some custom columns.

There's really no other sensible solution. You should not be manually trying to place books in folders, you should be allowing the calibre database to track the metadata, and not worry about how the books are stored inside that database.

Last edited by pdurrant; 07-17-2017 at 07:24 AM.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:08 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
I use calibre and organise my books there using the standard metadata and some custom columns.

There's really no other sensible solution. You should not be manually trying to place books in folders, you should be allowing the calibre database to track the metadata, and no worry about how the books are stored inside that database.
I see, so then outside of calibre you just keep your ebooks in a single folder?
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:24 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ben_hud View Post
I see, so then outside of calibre you just keep your ebooks in a single folder?
My books are stored in calibre. Calibre looks after storing the book files itself. I don't have copies outside calibre except on my ereaders. If I did need them, I could export to any folder structure I desired.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:26 AM   #5
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My books are stored in calibre. Calibre looks after storing the book files itself. I don't have copies outside calibre except on my ereaders. If I did need them, I could export to any folder structure I desired.
This something I didn't realize (fairly new to calibre). So adding a book to calibre basically copies the entire file into the calibre database and I've been keeping duplicates on my pc?
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben_hud View Post
This something I didn't realize (fairly new to calibre). So adding a book to calibre basically copies the entire file into the calibre database and I've been keeping duplicates on my pc?
In short, yes.
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:16 AM   #7
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My books are stored in calibre. Calibre looks after storing the book files itself.
Ditto. I also keep back-up copies of my library and Calibre settings in Dropbox and on two external hard drives. I update those copies regularly.

I edit my books after adding them to Calibre (not only metadata, but the files themselves). For that reason I also keep the original unedited files, they're stored on my PC and on my external HD-s.
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben_hud View Post
This something I didn't realize (fairly new to calibre). So adding a book to calibre basically copies the entire file into the calibre database and I've been keeping duplicates on my pc?
Yes, indeed. It's an iTunes for ebooks. As others have mentioned, it's a good idea to make a backup of your library every so often, as it's good to make a backup of any user-created data.

If you ever want your books available in a file/folder structure, calibre does have an extensive export function, which will let you define the way they get exported.

For Mobi, KF8 and ePub formats, calibre will also re-write the metadata in the book to match that in the calibre database when copying the book to your ereader. It's a great way to make the author names consistent!
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:56 AM   #9
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Yes, indeed. It's an iTunes for ebooks. As others have mentioned, it's a good idea to make a backup of your library every so often, as it's good to make a backup of any user-created data.
But make your backup while Calibre is not running, otherwise it's very likely it won't be correctly backed-up.
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:48 PM   #10
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I do keep a folder of the original downloads in a folder. I don't bother renaming them because my need to access them is RARE. I would just use Search Everything (a search app) to find the original.

I do organize .pdf files. You can load them into Calibre without converting if you wish, but most of my .pdf are cookbooks or craft books so easily sorted.
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Old 07-18-2017, 02:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben_hud View Post
How do other members on this forum order their large ebook collection? Do you create folders per author? Then subfolders per series? I'm very interested to hear what you have to say and your thoughts on my current naming convention.
Make this another vote for Calibre. The headache of trying to organize ebooks myself just became too difficult. In addition to a folder structure that I kept trying to improve, I started a spreadsheet to maintain other information that I wanted. Calibre handles all of that for me.

I have a master Calibre instance on a home computer and keep the library synced with several Calibre Portable USB sticks for backup and travel.
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Old 07-18-2017, 03:01 PM   #12
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One of the great things about using calibre to manage your library is its ability to create a filename for a new exported copy (Export = Save to Disk, Save to Device, ...) based on the metadata associated with the book and formatted using a user editable template.

I have, at differing times, wanted different filenaming patterns for my evolving "current favorite ereader (there have been several). It is simply a matter of changing the template(s) and plugboards (calibre has independent templates for Save to Device and Save to Disk).

Example: one of my past devices didn't support Series info. Since I kept a large number of unread books on that device I used a template and a plugboard that created an exported copy for my device that had the series name and number added to the title as a prefix in both the filename and the metadata "title". I've since changed devices and habits and it was extremely easy to edit the templates and plugboard to adapt to my new habits. There was no need for any massive renaming or bulk metadata edits as the core library in calibre is unchanged.
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Old 07-18-2017, 03:19 PM   #13
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If you LET calibre manage the library, including the 'checkout' (sending to a device), you don't need to restructure when your device changes.

The Export (send template or Plugboard) makes the (naming) adaption needed for a devices requirements
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Old 07-20-2017, 07:46 AM   #14
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While I backup my ebooks in various ways, cloud, hdds, you really can't do much better than calibre, so I also recommend it for basic ebook file storage.

Beyond that, I compliment if with a database of my own design, plus all the benefits of using an XLS spreadsheet, which also includes physical books, and that I started many years before calibre existed.

An XLS spreadsheet if created right, can get around the various limits of calibre, when it comes to sorting and searching, and assigning things like multiple series or sub-series that a book may belong to. Of course, calibre does lend itself to tweaking, if you are savvy enough. I generally personally prefer to leave it standard, just as storage and adding/removing ebooks from devices, and editing names & titles where necessary. Right tool for the right job as they say.
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