Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Kindle Skills - Using Calibre to add ebooks to your Kindle

Calibre Knows where your Kindle Documents folder is.
This is for all you folks who are comfortable downloading books from places like manybooks.net but have a tendency to roll up in a ball when it comes to sending them to your Kindle using a mouse and file management skills.

If you use Calibre to organize your downloaded (non DRM) public domain or otherwise free books, sending them is as easy as opening Calibre (or having it opened already), connecting your Kindle with the USB cable to your computer, and clicking the Send to device button. Calibre just KNOWS to send the book your have selected to the Documents folder on your connected Kindle.

The first time I noticed the Send to device button at the top of Calibre on my PC I was surprised. I had just connected my Kindle and happened to have Calibre opened. Within a few seconds the Send to device button appeared with a little down arrow (indicating choices) to the right of it.
Send to main memory was kind of confusing... There is no other choice available (the others are greyed out), but it did send the selected book to the actual Documents folder on the Kindle, which is exactly where your ebooks need to go (on your Kindle). If you haven't already converted the book file to a Kindle friendly format, Calibre will automatically create a copy (in .mobi format for the Kindle) and send only that copy over to your Kindle. It is so smart! When you remove your Kindle from the USB connection and turn it on to the Home screen, your book will be right there, ready to organize with the rest of the books already on your Kindle.

I also like the Eject device option. It is handy, and allows you to safely remove (eject) your Kindle without having to right click anything or otherwise hunt for the option. Slick...

Another button also appears when you connect your Kindle. It is named Reader and clicking the little arrow to the right of it gives you a couple of other interesting choices.
Clicking the words Show books in the main memory of the device does exactly that... Amazing huh? 
Special Note: This only works with book files... not audio files (music) or audiobook files.
Where to Find Calibre:
You can get Calibre for FREE at http://calibre-ebook.com/download
Download the installation file to your Desktop so you can delete it after you install.

Work in progress: Calibre is just that, a work in progress. You can expect frequent updates and new versions to be made available for you to download and install. There is no need to uninstall the previous version, just download and install the new one and it will replace the older version. When you get a new installation file, you will need to close Calibre (if it is running) before installing the new version. If you don't, it will gently remind you.

Ask Mrs. Wizard:
Please send me a personal email (mrswizard@mrswizard.com) if you have any questions. I answer all my emails and am more than happy to help any time I can. Your questions mean a lot to me, and may even inspire an article that will help others and make this a more valuable resource to anyone who reads it. 

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