A few months ago I was wondering about how to have one central location for holding the library for calibre because I was using two machines, both of which had calibre for managing my Kindle. The problem lay in that one ebook was one one machine and not on the other and I really felt it would be a good idea to have one location for both machine. Hence the USB memory stick idea. I checked the Calibre forums and saw mention in a post that some one was asking about backing up the library on a USB stick. The response said that it couldn’t really be done due to meta data. This idea I was playing with was different. The folder would be on the storage device and added to directly from Calibre. Tests suggested that it worked but shortly after I carried out the first tests my desktop died but I believe it does work when used in conjunction with two (or possibly more) machines. Because I had already started with this project I continued using and it works find. The added bonus of this is that if your hard disk dies then your books are still in their folder on the memory stick.
The set up is very simple and doesn’t change from the normal Calibre set up. The only difference is that the folder will not be on the computer it self. During the set you will be asked to select which folder you wish to use. Its a simply a case of selecting USB then calibre an d the end result should end up looking like the screen shot.
So far I have had no problems. I think the benefits of doing this far out way having the folder with your books on your computer.
I love books with paper and ink as much as everyone else but I also love eBooks for two reasons. The first is that you can easily carry several books when away from home (in my case frequently due to my line of work) and secondly, novels are far cheaper as ebooks. I was prompted to research ebooks in regard to their purchase and how I dealt with afterwards after reading a number of reports that curtain large companies (mostly one beginning with ‘A’ had deleted or blocked accounts or just removed the books of kindle users. I am also not that big a fan of cloud storage so the current use of ‘the cloud’ by amazon, etc to store my ‘purchased’ books got me thinking. Apparently, while researching this article I came across some information saying that there is a so called clause in agreements with some ebook suppliers that the costumer doesn’t so say, actually own the books. As far as I am concerned, I paid for them so I do own them. Thus, I went into overdrive and seriously thought about how I can own/use ebooks the way I think they should be once I have paid for them.
I personally don’t think it is right that someone should use or be restricted to a single supplier for an ebook reader or vice verse, be restricted to being able to read a book on just one device. There needs to be some form of freedom as to which device the person uses, this thinking would allow the user to change their device to a different more up to date one and still be able to read the books they already had. I like my kindle 4 so most of my work centres around that, plus the kindle app on my Nexus 7. I welcome any other suggests for apps in the comments section.
I use various resources for books but mostly I use Smashwords.com. Books from this website come DRM free, which is also the case with O’Reilly books where I like to get my tech books from. Sometimes a book I want is only available from amazon or other big stores. Books from these sources are likely to be full of DRM. A little bit of digging and a response was found on a forum provided me with information to remove DRM. This information a can be found at
The instructions are easy to follow and I have found that it does work. (Disclaimer: Its up to you to decide to remove the DRM, I am not responsible for your actions and neither is wordpress!).
The software that I use to transfer my books to my devices is Calibre. I haven’t explored it to try everything out but as with most things, you don’t need to until you want to do something. I very strongly recommend that you download and install from the website calibre.com The reason for this, is that if you install from the repositories then you will in all likely hood not have up to date versions of calibre. it does not automatically update but it will inform you when an update is available when you launch it. The installation instructions are to be found on the download page but its very easy. I have that it so that is possible to have the folder that is associated with calibre on a USB memory stick so that you can alternate between machines if you so wish…a future post will cover this.
Once installed you can add or remove books as you wish. And with this system there is no need to have restrictions so choose a book from which ever source you prefer or from the where the book only available, add to calibre library and then transfer to your device. I haven’t mentioned where to get pirated copies or how to deal with them because, as with music, I believe these things should be paid for.