Today I’ll talk a bit about one of my fav tools for ebooks, Calibre, especially since Christmas is coming up soon. This guide is written for the kindle but I’m sure most of these options are also available on other ereaders.
I’ll talk a bit about my main reasons to using Calibre and also list a few places where I get ebooks from (all legal).
You can download Calibre here: http://calibre-ebook.com/
Calibre is an ebook managing program in which you can not only manage your ebooks but also convert and do other things with them, it’s very useful to have especially if you don’t want to have to connect your ereader to your computer every time you want new books on it that don’t come from the main store of the device (there are ereaders out there that can’t download a book wirelessly at all, but even then Calibre is very useful).
1. Use it to convert files from one type to another.I list this with the sidenote that you need to make sure your book doesn’t have any DRM on it but the website usually lists this anyway.
I often convert pdf to mobi or epub to mobi or even html to mobi. For some of my classes I get pdf files of something I need to read. Though the conversion isn’t always as pretty it is good enough to just read. I convert ebooks quite often since I get mine from all over the net or free books from places like Gutenberg and stuff like that. I don’t always have the choice of picking up a mobi file of the book.
2. Use it to keep track of your books that you get from other stores or have created yourself
Calibre is also very good as a way to keep track of all your books. If you (like me) use different stores to buy ebooks it can get quite annoying to keep dumping them in a folder and having to search through them every time you look for a book.
In Calibre you have multiple ways of just keeping track of your books. It keeps it’s own inventory of the books, it uses a special folder in which it saves all the books in folders for each writer and things like that. Very handy.
The way I use it is mostly like this:
Download book from store -> open Calibre -> Drag ebook file from the downloads map into the program
I can then choose to do something with it or just leave it there for some other time. But at least I can make sure I don’t need to keep it in my downloads folder to keep track of it.
3. Send to device
MOST AWESOME FEATURE EVER! Kindle allows you to send a file immediately to a kindle and will save the file in your personal documents space on your Kindle account. This space is pretty big, I’ve got over 40 documents in it and haven’t even filled 1% of it.
To get this to work you need to go to your kindle account, add your email address that you will use to send files to your kindle to the list of accepted email addresses in Personal Document Settings, check the email address of your kindle (or kindle app) and fill them both into Calibre. There is an option in Preferences -> Sharing books by email where you can at the top add your kindle address and at the bottom your own email address (Hotmail or gmail are the easiest to use) and you’re set to go.
I use this a LOT LOT LOT since I’ve been more and more picking up non-Amazon books for my kindle (usually freebies at other websites). I download them, drag them into the program, send them and the next time I boot my kindle I’m ready to read. How handy is that?!
I’m pretty sure you could apply these same things for your own ereader even if it isn’t a kindle. Just check your store to see how.
I think Calibre is one of the best things EVER for ebooks and ereaders because it’s so easy to use and it’s so versatile.
Okay, as a bonus, here are where I usually pick up freebies and non-Amazon books:
– Smashwords http://www.smashwords.com/
– All Romance ebooks https://www.allromanceebooks.com/– Bookstrand http://www.bookstrand.com/
– Gutenberg http://www.gutenberg.org/
Have fun these last days before Christmas! I’m off to do some reading.