Sunday, April 3, 2011

Calibre Saved the E-Reader

When I first got my B+W Nook last August, I took pride in my choice and convinced myself that the Nook was better then the Kindle.

But, sometimes when I’d see a Kindle novel price cheaper then a Barnes and Noble price, my pride would waiver.

I’ve finally accepted that the differences between the Nook and the Kindle, or any other e-reader for that matter, are pretty slim. Especially with the game-changing free software like Calibre, which is further blurring the line.

I just downloaded Calibre this past week and have only begun to explore its many uses, but I wanted to share my experiences so far.

Calibre is a free and open-source E-book management tool that has basically solved all my e-reader problems. It is customizable, so no matter what e-reader you have; it will be able to help you.

My first e-reader problem was that I’d put a file on my Nook and I wouldn’t be able to find it. It wouldn’t be under the author’s name or the title of the story. It would be under the file name or just the first couple of word from the file. I’ve had files whose title was completely blank. I started to make my own E-pub files use this website, I’d take a Microsoft word document, convert it to an e-pub file and on my Nook the files would be under my name as the author!

The second problem was that when I’d get multiple stories by the same author they wouldn’t always be filed with each other because one file would have the authored first, middle, and last name and the other would only have the first and last name.

Calibre solved these problems for me because it allows you to edit the metadata of the file. In other words you can change the title and author associated with the file to anything you want.

My third e-reader problem is that since I read mostly free short fiction from Project Guttenberg, I get frustrated with the pages and pages of disclaimers they attach to their files. On an 18-page file the disclaimers represent half the pages. Calibre solves this problem too because I can use it to edit any e-pub file. (Once again, I have it customized for my Nook, I’m guessing if I set it to Kindle, I could edit Kindle files somehow).

Calibre has many other features, it will convert any text file type to any other. This will no doubt result in various degrees of success depending on the files. Calibre also has a build in universal e-reader. Also, you can use Calibre to download news articles for anywhere on the web, covert them to e-reader files and transfer them to your e-reader. (I haven’t had any use for this but it’s kind of neat).

Over the last 7 months since I bought my B+W Nook, there have been some new kids on the block such as the iPad 2 and Nook Color. And I’m sure in another 7 months there will be other new and different e-readers and tablets coming out.

Today, everyone is talking about the advantages of getting an all-in-one device, why get just an e-reader when you can have a tablet? But I’m still happy with my purchase, even if it doesn’t run apps or let me check my Facebook; it does exactly what I wanted it to do, it lets me read books and short fiction. And its specificity means that it uses E-ink so there is less eyestrain and longer battery life.

1 comment:

  1. I have the Sony EReader but use the Calibre software. It is by far the best I have found.