Calibre, the free e-book management software, hit the magic version 1.0 this past week. That’s not to say the previous versions were unstable, because they weren’t. In the world of open-source software, frequently software doesn’t hit version 1.o until the authors decide that it’s reached a certain level of feature completeness.
In that sense, Calibre’s time has come.
Calibre lets you do a number of things, including add metadata to your e-books like a cover image and bibliographical information. If you enjoy downloading and reading free public domain e-books, this is a very nice feature, because it makes those free books look every bit as slick and professional as commercially purchased e-books. Sometimes more so. The last e-book I bought from Barnes & Noble, published by Harper Collins, no less, wasn’t as nice as my Calibre-generated copy of Tender is the Night.
You can also use it to convert files from one format to another, which can be nice. Microsoft Word is now one of the file formats it supports, which is very nice for getting your own content onto an e-reader. I find that frequently I can get by doing that rather than printing a document. If you ever see me taking my Nook with me to a meeting, that’s why. If you can only buy a book from Amazon but want to read it on your Nook, Calibre will convert it for you.
If you have an e-reader, you need Calibre. Even if you just read epub e-books on a tablet, you still need Calibre. Give it a shot. It won’t cost you a dime, and I guarantee you won’t regret it.