I’m really making progress now with the catalogue, all my false starts have been mostly overcome and the Calibre library is growing.
I have found using Calibres main strength in maintaining a library to be a huge advantage of a directory listing of poorly named files. Once the book is imported, Calibre can also extract the stored metadata of the book and add it to the collection as well as being able to supplement it with on-line lookups.
When I started this journey I was only interested in using the ISBN as the primary way of identifying a book, now I have come to realise that embedded metadata is just as important to maintain an accurate collection.
I just wish game publishers would take this into account when creating their pdf files for distribution to the general public.
At the rate I’m going I may only have one or two updates left in this subject.
After some more wrangling with Calibre and Book Collector I have managed to come to working arrangement; rather than trying to follow the advice given to me by the Book Collector technical support team I’m having much more success using Calibre’s create a catalogue file of my selected gaming eBooks as a csv file and then importing that into Book Collector.
I have taken the steps of exporting my library as a .mobi file which I sent to my Kindle and this has far more information than I could get into Book Collector without spending a serious amount of time making it work. Using Calibre’s tag function you can create quite the hyperlinked and cross referenced document.
With any luck this will be my final entry on sorting my catalogue out and making it available to my players.
It’s also worth mentioning that adding the Search The Internet and Goodreads plug-ins are worth adding to Calibre as well to expand the meta-data search functionality.
It has been a while since I wrote about my struggle to catalogue my gaming pdfs mainly because for each breakthrough I make, another two setbacks present themselves.
I found a useful plug-in for Calibre that is able to extract the ISBN from an ebook and then I have been trying to use the Download Meta-data function look the information up on a number of book sites.
Where I’m having problems is the ISBN can often refer to another book as either the publisher has entered the wrong one or recycled an old one.
The latest struggle has come about in trying to export from Calibre into Book Collector, something that isn’t easy to do as all Book Collector wants to do is use ISBN, Publisher and Author and not the other summary data.
So I find myself stuck again, not quite at square one but getting closer to it; I suspect I need to roll a 6 to get the game started again.
Why am I bothering?
I’m doing this so I can share my gaming collection with my friends so they have an idea of books in my library using Book Collector’s cloud library and also to take advantage of Book Collector’s loan facility something that Calibre doesn’t have. If I wasn’t going to use either of these functions I would have kept everything in Calibre and managed it that way.
I’ve made a lot more progress in cataloguing my game collection as it turns out I can search by titles in the package and while this has been working well, there are a few omissions in their core database. To fill in the holes I found an excellent website that allows you to look up books by ISBN and I’ve been searching the game books I’m looking for, then copy and paste the numbers in the database before looking it up.
I can finally say that it looks like I’m starting to win the battle and the tides are turning in my favour.
I think I’m on the verge of a breakthrough.
This morning I was relaxing in my bath, when I had that Eureka! moment. What if it was possible to scan a directory of pdf files looking for the word ISBN and then extract the 13 character string that followed it? I could then export all the results to a file and import it into my Collectorz database.
I guess the next step is to try and find out how to accomplish this task.
So I asked and people have been suggesting all sorts of different ways to handle my collection.
A very good friend outlined a method by creating a new folder structure on my drive and then creating symbolic links to point to the files.
Over on rpgnet there were some very creative solutions from; a reference management package like Mendeley, LibraryThing, Goodreads, using ISBNs from Zotero and creating a recipe using Calibre to scrape the data I need.
I currently use Collectorz Book Collector program to handle my needs and now I think I’ve managed to wrangle it to do what I want, I should be able to look after the vast majority of my eBooks. I also managed to read the manual for the new version of the program and it will scan folders and add books to the database but you still need to update all the data manually to cover genre, author and the other really useful fields that would enable me to quickly scan my collection or allow one of my players to see what books I have.
The other useful thing with Collectorz is the fact that there are apps available for it on both iOs and Android as well as being able to access your stored collection via their website.
So at digging through my collection or appears that some of the pdf have ISBN and barcodes on then. These appear to be the ones that are used to create print versions of the documents so kudos to you Eden Studios for including both the covers in your pdf which include the barcode.
I wonder if it is possible to scan that directly from the screen?
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I also posed this question over at rpgnet and have had a couple of suggestions but nothing to take the drudgery out of adding the details automatically.
What I have at the moment is a directory listing of the folders but that is less than ideal as some of the pdf have cryptic filenames.
I’d love to be able to point a program at the directory and have it recognise the contents and identify the documents.
I wish there was some embedded metadata it could extract.
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After trying to work out if I had a particular book in my collection I was wondering if there was a software package for my PC that would allow me to track my pdf game collection.
I have am excellent program for my printed books but it doesn’t appear to handle electronic editions as they don’t have the barcodes or ISBN references.
I can’t be the only one in this situation so can anybody suggest anything?