Because ebooks are often much cheaper than physical books, it is easy to quickly accumulate a large collection. Managing and organizing an ebook library can become something of a challenge. To make matters more complicated, the format war we discussed in the previous section means that some ebooks will work with one device, and others will not, and very few will work on both.
Fortunately, a free application called Calibre can solve a number of these problems. Originally developed in 2006, Calibre is an ebook management program. It automatically sorts your ebooks by title and author, which makes locating any single title much easier. It also can convert most ebook formats, allowing you to smoothly move from EPUB to MOBI and back again (so long as the files are not encrypted – Calibre cannot read ebook files protected by digital rights management technologies – DRM). Calibre also contains a built-in ebook reader that can handle most ebook formats.
Calibre is also very easy to install, and you can install it through the Ubuntu Software application. (We discussed how to use the Ubuntu Software application to install software in Chapter 4.) It is, of course, quicker and easier to install Calibre using this terminal command:
sudo apt-get install calibre
Enter your password to authenticate, follow the default prompts, and apt will install Calibre for you.
After the installation is complete, you can launch Calibre via searching for it through the Activities Overview. The first time Calibre runs, you’ll see a wizard asking for some configuration options: where to store your Calibre library, what eBook reader you use (if any), and what settings that eBook reader uses. Enter the appropriate information, and you can start using Calibre.
Calibre’s GUI is reasonably easy to use, and the program includes a complete manual (in ebook form, of course).
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