Calibre and Kindle

by Greg on January 28, 2010

I’ve said this on many posts in the last few months and I’ll say it again – The one major improvement that almost everyone I talk to about the Kindle wants, is a way to organize their books, with some sort of folder system or maybe something else. Well, there is “something else” available that will allow you to view, convert and catalog e-books. As you’ve probably guessed by the post title the name of this ebook library manager is Calibre.

From Calibre:

calibre is a free and open source e-book library management application developed by users of e-books for users of e-books. It has a cornucopia of features divided into the following main categories:

  • Library management
  • E-book conversion
  • Syncing to e-book reader devices
  • Downloading news from the web and converting it into e-book form
  • Comprehensive e-book viewer
  • Constant server for online access to your book collection

Here’s one of the things that I like best about Calibre – You can sort books by any of the following: Title, Author, Date added, Date published, Size, Rating, Series, etc. If you have a ton of e-books this can come in very handy and until we do get a folder system on the Kindle this seems to be one of the best ways to organize your Kindle books. You can also use ‘tags’ to categorize your books however you like.

Another great feature is Calibre’s ebook conversion. It can convert from any of these formats: CBZ, CBR, CBC, EPUB, FB2, HTML, LIT, LRF, MOBI, ODT, PDF, PRC**, PDB, PML, RB, RTF, TCR, TXT

to these formats: EPUB, FB2, OEB, LIT, LRF, MOBI, PDB, PML, RB, PDF, TCR, TXT – for the Kindle owners out there the .MOBI format is the one that we need to convert to.

Calibre is a pretty useful site for Kindle owners and the price can’t be beat either – it’s free. If you like the service and would like to make a donation there’s a button in the upper right corner for you to make your donation.

Don’t forget that you can use it to convert many of the free Kindle books that you can download also. For more info on what you can do with Calibre go here: Calibre

Also, there’s a very good forum over at MobileRead that has all kinds of good info and answers many questions about Calibre: Calibre at MobileRead Forums

Have any of you used Calibre yet? What do you think of it?

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 admin January 14, 2011 at 12:05 pm

WM, Thanks for the great detailed explanation.

2 WM January 13, 2011 at 3:33 pm


I agree with Matthew, Calibre works beautifully with Windows 7 for me also.

3 WM January 13, 2011 at 3:29 pm

LA – You don’t get Calibre (software) to Kindle, but the converted books to the Kindle. Here is how I remember this works. This is from memory but I think I have most of the steps.
Step 1 – Download Calibre to PC and execute Software load and open up Calibre program on your PC.
Step 2 Add file(s) to Calibre – Use the “Add File” button in the upper left hand corner of the main screen to find the book you want to read on the Kindle. It will bring up a browse screen so you can select the file(s) on your PC. After you’ve selected the files you should see the files appear in the main screen.
Step 3 Convert these file(s) to MOBI format – If the file is not in MOBI format but lets say it is a PDF, then you will use the Convert File option. Several ways to do this but the easiest for me is to right click on the file to be converted and you will see options for file conversion format. Choose Mobi format for Kindle. Once you selected that you will see a “Job” running at the bottom right of your screen. You can click on that screen to see the progress of the conversion. You can either do a mass conversion of one at a time – your choice.
Step 4 – Copy the MOBI file to the Kindle. Connect your Kindle to the PC using USB cord that came with the Kindle. You may need to unplug the USB connector from the power cord that goes into the electical socket. Power down the Kindle. Connect USB to PC USB port and the connect the other connector to the Kindle. You will now have power to the Kindle but it isn’t on. Turn on Kindle. When you’re successful you will see a Lightning bolt and a message from the Kindle. Go to Calibre and choose Download, and choose Option “Send to Main Storage”. After you have selectied this option and the file is delivered to the Kindle you will get a message “Main Storage” on the main screen right next to the file you just sent to the Kindle.
4. Unplug the USB cord from the PC and the Kindle (lightning bolt goes away). Power on your Kindle. You should see the new book available for reading.

4 Matthew October 23, 2010 at 12:03 pm

@Perri – Calibre works beautifully with Windows 7, at least for me. I have it running on two different Win7 machines, including one 64-bit machine, and I have had no difficulties installing or using it to manage my eBook collection.

5 Perri September 10, 2010 at 5:47 pm

Cailbre will NOT work with Windows 7…if anyone has figured out a way around this please let me know…

6 LA February 9, 2010 at 1:59 pm

How do you get the Calibre to your kindle after the download to your pc?

7 James January 29, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Mostly good – but a little “buggy”. For example, I like my ebook filename to be in the format: authorln, authorfn authorinit – booktitle – but Calibre insists on: booktitle – authorln_ authorfn authorinit. Though it has menu selections to change this they either don’t work or I haven’t figured it out yet; I make changes and nothing happens.

All things considered though, it’s a great utility

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