Manage your ebooks

Easy Reading

Article from Issue 230/2020
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Calibre can help manage your ebooks by bulk converting files, adding metadata, and making content available across all your devices.

In July 2009, thousands of Amazon's Kindle users logged into their devices to find that their purchased copies of George Orwell's 1984 had been erased. Internet pundits quickly drew comparisons between the corporate giant's move and that of "Big Brother" in Orwell's dystopian imagining of England. More recently, in April of this year, Microsoft announced the closure of their own ebook store. Customers lost access to their book collections but were offered a full refund.

The abundance of e-reader devices such as the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble NOOK has made a lasting impact: In 2018, electronic books made up 25.8 percent of book sales worldwide. Most reading devices are designed to sell content for specific platforms, which has resulted in a number of differing, incompatible ebook formats. For instance, an EPUB book purchased from Barnes & Noble cannot be transferred and opened automatically on an Amazon Kindle. While Kindles support open format MOBI books, Amazon stores your Kindle ebook purchases in its own proprietary AZW. Although the formidable PDF format is compatible with a number of e-readers, it doesn't always work with their features, such as highlighting or sharing text.

It's unlikely the e-publishing industry as a whole will embrace a universal, open format anytime soon. In the meantime, the developer Kovid Goyal has addressed this problem by creating Calibre, a one-stop utility for all your ebook management.

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