If you’re a fan of ebooks, you’ve probably already heard of Caliber, an open source, cross-platform ebook management tool that turns your computer into a virtual library. You can use it to read e-books on your computer, control other devices like Kindles, or make changes to your e-books.
There are several e-book management tools that rival Caliber’s e-book reader in terms of functionality – for example, it does more than Amazon’s own Kindle desktop app. Caliber is a great tool to help you manage your eBooks, so here are some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of it.
Export your ebook library
If you are worried about your ebook collection or just want to share it with other users, you can export your Caliber eBook library using Caliber’s own export tool. You can use the same tool to import an existing library.
- To do this, open Caliber and click Caliber library> Export / Import all caliber data.
- In the Export / Import All Caliber Data window, click the Export All Your Caliber Data button.
- Select your eBook library – most users will have only one Caliber library, so you should select it already. Click OK to continue. You will need to choose a location to save your library and for that you will need to select an empty directory.
After exporting an eBook library, you can follow the same steps to import it into another Caliber installation – just click Import Previously Exported Data in the Export / Import All Caliber Data window and select your data instead.
Create Cloud Caliber Library
If you want to store your eBooks in a cloud storage like Google Drive, you can export your collection there. This is a good way to back up your ebook collection and also share it with other Caliber users – perfect for family ebook collections.
To do this, just click Caliber Library> Switch / create library. In the “Choose your caliber” library window, select a location that syncs with your cloud storage (for example, in the Dropbox sync folder).
This will sync the folder with Dropbox, allowing you to use the same library across multiple Caliber installations.
Create Online Shared Caliber eBook Library
Caliber includes a feature that allows it to be turned into what Caliber calls a content server. This activates Caliber’s built-in web server, allowing you to browse your library on any other devices on your network (or the Internet if you’ve configured your device to allow remote connections), as well as download ebooks from your library directly for reading in an e-reader. Caliber books.
Setting up a shared library is easy – just click Connect / Share> Start Content Server to enable it. This will immediately turn on the content server and you can access it.
Pressing the Connect / Share button again will allow you to quickly view the IP address and port you will need to view the library on another device. This is usually http: //ip.address: 8080, where ip.address is replaced with the IP address of your PC and port 8080 is used as the standard web port that Caliber uses.
Remove eBook DRM using Caliber
DRM (or digital rights management) is an anti-piracy measure used to block content for a buyer. Games, movies, and e-books are common places to find DRM in action, especially if you’ve bought e-books from the Amazon Kindle store.
Caliber plugin called DeDRM exists to remove DRM from your own e-books. To do this, you need to download and install this plugin. This will work for most DRM methods, with the exception of e-books purchased from Apple – you need to use TunesKit to remove DRM from Apple e-books.
- To remove DRM from third party eBooks, download the latest DeDRM plugin zip file, then unzip it. Once downloaded, open the Settings menu for Caliber and click the Plugins button.
- Click the Load Plugin From File button in the Add-Ins window. You will need to select the DeDRM_Plugin.zip file from the extracted ZIP content that you downloaded in this step.
- As a third party plugin, Caliber eBook reader will warn you that it may pose a security risk. Click Yes to accept the warning and install the plugin.
- At this point Caliber should add the plugin – it will appear in the plugins window. With DeDRM selected, click the Enable / Disable Plugin button to enable it, then click the Apply button.
- Double-click the DeDRM plug-in to open the DeDRM Configuration menu. Click one of the types of eBook settings in the configuration list (for example, eInk Kindle eBooks).
You will need to add your device’s serial number (like your Kindle’s serial number) or registration keys to Caliber e-book reader so that you can decrypt any e-books. This will allow you to remove DRM from them.
When you first import a Kindle or other DRM eBooks into Caliber, the DeDRM plugin will automatically convert them using the serial number or security keys you provide.
Convert E-Book File Formats
There is no single standard for eBook file formats, making it difficult to use the same type of eBook on multiple devices.
The open standard is EPUB, which is DRM-free and fully supports Caliber. However, ebook publishers tend to use their own formats. Amazon, for example, uses the AZW or KFX file formats for their own e-books.
- If you want to convert your eBook format to Caliber compatible EPUB (or convert EPUB files to Amazon compatible AZW format), select a book in your library, then click Convert Books. Select “Convert Individually” from the drop-down menu.
- Select the format you want to use from the Output Format drop-down menu in the upper right corner of the Conversion window. Select AZW3 or MOBI to convert to Kindle compatible format.
When you’re ready to convert the file, click OK. A duplicate of your e-book in the format of your choice will be created in your Caliber e-book reader, which you can export to another location.
Log in to news and magazines with Caliber
Caliber has a good reputation for reading e-books, but you can also use it to read your favorite magazines or access the latest news headlines.
- To do this, click the “Get news” button in the Caliber window. A list of available magazines and news sites will be available in the News Download Schedule window.
- Select the content you want to watch, select how often Caliber will download it by checking the Download Schedule checkbox and select a time period, then Download to download the content. You may first need to provide a username and password for the content in the Account (required) section.
This will download the news or magazines you have selected for viewing in the Caliber eBook reader library. As long as Caliber is open, it will continue to check for updates and automatically download them for viewing.
Better manage e-books with Caliber
The Caliber e-book reader is a must-have for e-book lovers, especially if you are trying to get rid of Amazon’s DRM e-book addiction. Even so, Caliber can convert your e-books and download them to Kindle if you need to.
Caliber can also be a good place to store your own eBooks, especially if you choose to write and publish an eBook yourself. If you’re struggling to find new books to read, there are some great free book sites you can use to read without rushing to buy from the Kindle store.