Welcome to the start of something, a brand-new series we’re entitling “Stuff We Like”. Sure, we’ll have all manner of things we’ll tell you about that is new and interesting, but “Stuff We Like” will be reserved for the pieces of kit (and in this case, software) that we’ve been using for years and recommend without hesitation. Today, it’s the Calibre e-book Manager software in the spotlight.

On the surface of things, the Calibre e-book Manager looks like a deceptively simple piece of software – and maybe even one that you don’t need. I mean, whether you’ve got a Kindle, Nook, or other device, you’ve got an associated bookstore that can download things right to it, plain and simple. What about the case where you might be getting books from other sources?

And no, I don’t mean pirating books – frankly, if you enjoy the work an author is producing, you should support them with your wallet. That said, there are any number of independent sources out there. One of my favorites is Smashwords. And what about when publishers, such as Tor offer up a book in their book of the month club? You need to get the books onto your device. Sure, you could email it to a special address for your Kindle, but wired transfer is a lot faster.

Additionally, with the Calibre e-book Manager, you can have the entirety of your library all in one place. It makes it a cinch to send it to any device that you have hooked to your computer, be it an e-reader, tablet, or something else. It’s really simple to use, as well.

That right there is a screenshot of my own Calibre library. Once I hooked the Kindle to my machine, it recognized what was on the device already, so you can quickly see what you do (and don’t) have on your device. To add something to the library, you can use the big green “Add books” button or just click and drag it into the library. Just be sure you’re dealing with DRM-free books, or you’re going to run into problems. Once the book is in your library, you simply click “Send to device” and it’s moved over in a blink.

So, while you may not think you have a need for software like the Calibre e-book Manager, I think you’ll be surprised by how handy it is to have all of your digital books organized in one place. I’ve been using it for years now, both with my Nook Color back in the day, and now with my trusty Kindle Paperwhite. It’s free software, so I’d say give it a try. And if you like what it does for you, you can always throw them a few bucks to support this ultra-useful tool. calibre-ebook.com

By Patrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.

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