How can I use CC as a catalog, not for reading?


A common request is to use CC as an interactive catalog of the books in a user's library. The user wants to see what books s/he has, but is not interested in reading books on the device running CC. The easiest way to do this in CC is to transfer your library to CC, sending text files instead of the real book files. This gives you all the book metadata in CC but takes up minimal space and time.

The steps are:

  1. Tell CC that it can handle TXT formats. For instructions see the FAQ answer How do I choose which formats calibre sends and where the books are stored? Check the TXT box and move it to the top of the list. You might want to uncheck the other boxes if you are certain that you do not ever want to read books on the device.
  2. In calibre do a search for
          not formats:txt
    This will ensure that you don't overwrite any existing TXT formats, either because they were added while previously following these steps or because a book is actually in TXT format.
  3. Continuing in calibre, select all books found by the search in step 2, click the down arrow on the "Add books" button, choose "Add an empty file to selected book records", then choose "Add empty TXT". Let it finish.
  4. Connect CC to calibre as a wireless device. See How do I setup Calibre Companion to connect to calibre? if you haven't done this before.
  5. Once CC is connected, in calibre search for
          ondevice:false and formats:txt
    If this is the first time you have followed these steps then all the books in your library will be selected.
  6. in calibre select all the books you want to see in your CC catalog, probably by selecting all of them.
  7. In calibre, click the down arrow next to "Send to device", choose "Send specific format to", choose "Main Memory", then choose "TXT". You can simply push "Send to device" if in step 1 (in CC) you unchecked all the formats other than TXT.

Once calibre and CC finish the transfer you will have your catalog in CC.

If you change metadata in calibre, for example correct author names or series, connect CC to calibre as a wireless device. CC and calibre will arrange to send all changed metadata to CC.

If you add books to calibre and want them in your catalog, do the above steps again starting at step 2. The Smart Eject calibre plugin might be of help to ensure that all the books have txt formats and are on your device.

Author:
Charles Haley
Revision:
1.0
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