E-Book Management, Kindle & Calibre

I’ve been enjoying my Kindle 2 for 6 months now, and have started to accumulate quite a number of e-books that will work on the Kindle.  (There are a lot of free ones available, especially if you like to read classic science fiction!)

I can tell that I’m going to want to use some kind of library management on the PC, as a simple directory structure isn’t going to suffice for me.  So I’m taking a look at Calibre (http://calibre.kovidgoyal.net/) for the job.

On first glance, it looks like it will fill me needs pretty well.  There are some features that aren’t working for me.  But I already have workarounds for those that are important to me.  I’ll open defect reports with the developer if I can’t figure out what’s happening, but they aren’t showstopper issues for me.

One interesting thing I’ve noticed as a result of poking around is that the “common wisdom” that the Kindle doesn’t support folders is untrue.  You can load data to the Kindle 2 in a hierarchical data structure, for example {author}/{title}/{title}.prc, and the Kindle will find the file and display it without any problem.  What is true, is that the Kindle’s UI doesn’t support that kind of structure, and will hide it from you.  All you see on the “Home” view of your library is a list of documents without the hierarchy.  I can hope there will be a kindle upgrade sometime that solves that deficiency.

In the meantime, using the Calibre ebook library manager, I think the Kindle’s UI issues won’t be nearly as important, as I’m likely to add and remove things from the Kindle more often.  I expect to keep notes in the library manager about what I have and haven’t read.

We’ll see how it goes for a few weeks, and decide if I’m going to keep Calibre permanently or not.