Personal Library management

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Managing your personal library of eBooks or even regular books can become a daunting task. This page is intended to provide some solutions to the problem.

Contents

[edit] Managing your eBook library

Managing your home library can mean a lot of different things to different people. On aspect is to be able to group your books so you can find them easily. One way to do this is to use the directory/folder system on your computer and device, along with naming conventions to aid in arranging your library of eBooks. Booksorter by Vangelis Dimou can BULK-rename the eBook files according to your preferences.

Another trick to managing your eBooks, when you have the option to sort by date, is to modify the date on the file. This MobileRead forum thread has more on this option for Sony devices.

[edit] Library Managers

Library managing software is generally a database program. Often it can also be used to manage other collections of items you may own.

  • Alfa eBooks Manager is a handy program that allows to organize your electronic and paper books in a single e-Library. A nice feature is it allows you to customize the look and feel of your e-Library (ex: book shelf view). There are three versions: Free, Lite, and Pro. It works on Windows XP/Vista/7/8, and has an inbuilt File Manager that allows you to copy, move and rename multiple book files (Pro version). It supports / can retrieve metadata from many formats: CHM, DJVU, EPUB, FB2, HTML, LRF, MOBI, MP3, PDF, and TXT files. Although many formats are supported, you cannot link two or more files to one book in the database: if you have the same book in several formats, they recommend you to create an archive with these files inside, and to link the archive.
  • All My Books is a personal ebook organizer software that can look up ebook details either from file metadata or online sources, like Amazon.
  • Blib is a personal library on a cloud, for use with the hardware you own that is running the cloud server.
  • Book Crawler is an iOS book manager that will allow you to take your list with you.
  • BookDB is a full book database manager in multiple languages. It also has lending library features, import features, and compact printing so you can take your list of books with you. This is a Windows program.
  • Bucharchiv is book-management program available on Windows 7 / Vista / XP, published by GBelectronics.
  • Calibre Companion, also known as "CC", by MultiPie, describes itself as "[the] companion app for the widely used e-book library software Calibre". Calibre companion is discussed extensively in this dedicated MobileRead forum, which describes the app as "an ebook manager to wirelessly access and interact with the calibre software and its content server (Android)".
  • Collectorz.com Book Collector is a commercial book / ebook / audiobook manager for the PC and Mac. It features different views to browse your collection: Images View, List View, and Cover Flow.
  • Extreme Books Manager is a commercial library management from BinaryWorks, for management of books, eBooks, and audio books. Not many versions have been released yet. It is available on Windows, and requires MS .NET framework 2.0.
  • GCstar is a free, open-source application made to help users manage their personal collections of books, films, games, and other media. Compatible with Linux, it is no longer maintained on windows.
  • My eBook Organizer manages eBook files for you so that you can find and access the right book easier than ever.

Also see the MobileRead forum: E-Book Software.

[edit] Combination Solutions

Reading and conversion software can also provide for personal library management. Tools that fall into this category include:

  • Calibre - extensive management and conversion for Sony LRF files and many others.
  • ComicRack - reading and management services for comic book files.
  • GEB Librarian - management and conversion for IMP and RB files.

[edit] Online library managers and social catalogues

  • aNobii, described by Wikipedia as "a social networking site aimed at readers. [...] The service allows individuals to catalogue their books and rate, review and discuss them with other readers."
  • BookArmy (now defunct), as described at [Wikipedia, "was a social networking website and book recommendation tool for readers, owned by HarperCollins. BookArmy was launched in February 2009, and closed in December 2010."
  • Bookish, as described at Wikipedia is "a content discovery and ecommerce website devoted to books which [...] allows users to browse an extensive database of books and authors, add books to user-created digital "shelves", get custom book recommendations, read editorial content and purchase physical books, ebooks, and audiobooks."
  • Devon Technologies has a smart document management tool. Manages bookmarks, notes, files and provides synchronization.
  • Douban is described at Wikipedia as "a Chinese SNS [Social Networking Service] website allowing registered users to record information and create content related to film, books, music, and recent events and activities in Chinese cities."
  • Goodreads, described by Wikipedia as "an Amazon company and "social cataloging" website"
  • Google Books My Library, which, as Wikipedia describes: "allows signed-in users to create a personalized collection or a library of books."
  • iDatabase for mac provides ability to manage collections. Mac and iPhone versions are available.
  • iDreamBooks, described by Wikipedia as: "A social cataloging application [...] designed to help users to catalog things—books, CDs, etc.—owned or otherwise of interest to them" and as "a book ″discoverability″ website, structured as a book review aggregator."
  • LibraryThing, described by Wikipedia as "a social cataloging web application for storing and sharing book catalogs and various types of book metadata. It is used by authors, individuals, libraries, and publishers."
  • Loved.la
  • Shelfari, a subsidiary of Amazon.com, described by Wikipedia as "a social cataloging website for books".
  • weRead, formerly iRead, part of uGenie, Inc., is described by Wikipedia as "an online community of book enthusiasts. weRead started out as a social cataloging application on Facebook in June 2007 and has since expanded to over 3.1 million active members across Facebook, MySpace, Orkut, Hi5, and Bebo."

[edit] Home Library features

Do you have an extensive eBook library? How about printed books? The list below aims to define the needs for a top-quality eBook management software solution that is powerful enough to handle any situation, but simple enough that anyone can use it. It should also be able to perform keyword searches on your collection, keep companion content handy, and easily backup your library for safe-keeping.

Features should include:

  • Self-contained library -- All electronic media (audiobooks, eBooks, supplemental materials, etc.) is copied to a separate directory, to keep everything centralized and managed.
  • Automatic information retrieval -- Through the use of Amazon's Web Services or other sources, book information can be automatically retrieved, just by entering the book's ISBN.
  • Find similar books -- Find books that may be similar to ones already in your library.
  • Support any document format -- The actual format of an eBook shouldn't matter. It should deal with whatever by simply opening it in the system's associated application.
  • Library backup/restore -- A user's entire library should be backed up into a compressed archive, and later restored (either to the same system, or a new computer).
  • eBook export -- eBook files may be exported to a new file, named according to the book's title/authors/publisher/publication date, with user-customizable formatting.
  • Batch eBook import -- Add multiple files, or entire folders, in one step.
  • Attach supplementary materials -- supplementary materials (such as zip files, CD ISO images, etc.) may be attached to book entries.
  • Full-text search capabilities -- electronic media is indexed, and the actual contents of files are used in searches.
  • Auto ISBN retrieval -- file names (and perhaps even file contents) are scanned for potential ISBN's.
  • Categorized browsing -- books can be categorized, like folders on a computer. A single book may appear in multiple categories.
  • Library index -- a file can be created containing all books in a particular category, organized by book (listed in alphabetic order), or by author (each author listed alphabetically, with their books under them).
  • eBook Reader -- The manager should extend to including eBook readers themselves.
  • Lending library -- Should also manage library checkout and books.

[edit] See also

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