Go ahead. Try to find a better e-book manager/reader. You may find some good ones, but still not as good as Calibre. It is the most complete e-book manager/reader that I have used. Anything that you could possibly want to do with your e-books can be done on Calibre, so there really is no reason to mention the functionality here. If a feature is not in Calibre, you can bet that it will be included sometime in the future. Development support is constant with continuous updates frequently available. There is no need to use another e-boook manager/reader unless your favorite e-book store forces you to use their own.
The worst thing that I can say about Calibre is that there should be a "skin" or GUI option. The current icons used are unappealing. Various icons are used from different icon sets, so Calibre has no themed look to it. If you are handy at changing themes, it can be done manually by changing the Resource/Image folder in the Programs folder. But most users would not know how to or bother to do it.
So overall Calibre is definitely your one stop solution to all your e-book needs.
I am amazed that this is a free program. I have about 150 e-books entered into the database and this program allows me to keep track of everything. You can add tags(even custom tags) to each book to help you find them by category. You can customize what information is shown about each book. One of the handiest features is the ability to download metadata about each book from online sources (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google, etc.). This feature will automatically fill in the author, publication date, ISBN number, tags, etc. as well as fill in a summary of the book plot. Of course you can manually enter any or all of this data if you prefer. This gives you an opportunity to add your own notes about the book.
The program interfaces seamlessly with my Nook Simple Touch, allowing me to easily transfer books to or from the reader. There is a large internet community using this program, so there is lots of support and very active development with new features, bug fixes, etc. I have not found any program instability or bugs in my use.
Because this program can do so much, there is a small learning curve (about 30 minutes) to get up to speed on the various features. Online help is very good. Once you understand it's basic organization, it's very easy to use. If you desire, you can also enter your non-ebook (paperback) books into the database to keep track of what you've read.
Pros: Built-in reader software is very good and can read most ebook formats. Built-in conversion software (to convert ebooks between different formats) also works very well if you use the default configurations; also has pre-configured settings for best display for various hardware ebook readers. Constantly updated and improved.
Cons: Downside of constant updates and improvements is a lot of instability, errors, bugs, etc. Help files are only available online and although they are clear for the simple, basic functions, they are simply hideous for everything else, especially when it comes to any changes to the default settings - if you want to make changes, you are in for long hours of internet research and frustration - and even then you probably won't be able to get things to work properly.
Some people like the ebook management feature, but I really dislike it and don't use it - partly because I cannot customize the organization and naming of my ebooks even remotely how I want it, partly because I have never been able to get some features to work consistently, or even at all - perhaps the sheer volume of ebooks I have is too much for this program. For example, I already have all my ebooks named exactly how I want them and although there is a setting to supposedly tell calibre not to change the ebook names when importing into the calibre library, I can almost never get this to work. Still, well worth getting for reader and conversion features.
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