Moving bookshelf to Goodreads and manage e-books in Calibre

Over the past month I changed my toolset for managing my bookshelf and e-books. In this blog post I’ll explain why.

For the past years I used Shelfari from Amazon to manage the books I want to read, and the ones I’ve read. It was also useful to keep track of what friends are reading to pick up interesting books. There are also user groups, but those communities were not that vibrant. Nowadays some paper books also provide a free download of the e-book, and I didn’t use a tool to manage my e-books.

Now all of that has changed!

Check out Calibre, probably the best free e-book management tool around. After dropping your pdf into the tool it can sync with online services from Amazon, Google, Goodreads,… to get extra info about the book like covers, short description, ratings, and so on. You can apply tags to your books to group them into categories and search trough them. You can keep multiple formats for your books and sync to a range of mobile devices. It’s even possible to convert one format into another. Lots of available plugins can extend the functionality of Calibre. I was hooked immediately.

The other tool I use now is Goodreads. I didn’t realize Shelfari was lacking so many features until I saw Goodreads, for example:

  • you can make additional book shelves and put an RSS feed on the ones you want
  • you can export at any time (unlike Shelfari)
  • authors of the books also have profiles on Goodreads, so you can send them messages, ask questions,...
  • order books on your shelves the way you want them to appear
  • highly customizable widget to put on your website

I also have the feeling the community on Goodreads is a lot more vibrant than on Shelfari. So I’ll leave Shelfari soon, and will try to convince my Shelfari friends to do the same.

This blog post should help a little :-)

Special thanks to Jochen and Yoeri for showing me these great tools.

If you want to join me on goodreads, visit http://www.goodreads.com/pascalmestdach

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