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One of the most annoying things about eReader apps on the iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad (that have their own dedicated stores) is their proprietary nature — namely, they generally only read books you have purchased from their respective companies, regardless of the library you already own. This can be a pain, as it leads to both multiple eReader apps on your phone and several books inevitably left twisting in the proverbial wind. You can use Stanza for iPhone to solve this problem, but why not put all of your books on that pretty iBooks bookshelf? As of version 0.7, Calibre lets you do just that!
Calibre is a fantastic tool for PC and Mac that handles eBook management. It has all the features you could ever want or need, including tagging; organization by genre, series and more; turning your computer into an eBook server; single and bulk conversion from and to multiple eBook formats; and now a handy button that sends eBooks directly to the Books section of your iTunes library — and, of course, to your device.
It’s a fairly simple process, in essence requiring only that you connect your device to your computer and make sure the book you are transferring is in EPUB fromat (which can be set as the Preferred Output Format in Preferences). You just select the book from your library that you want to send to your device, and click the big Send to Device button on the top menu. You can also right-click and do the same. If the book is not in EPUB, you will be asked if you want Calibre to automatically convert it for you. Click OK and wait a moment. The book will convert and send itself to your device, via iTunes, appearing on your iBooks bookshelf. If you are an iPad user, go into the Page Setup area of the Conversion settings in Preferences, and select iPad as your Output Profile.
You can also connect directly to iTunes, without the using your device, to move your library to the Books area of iTunes, for later syncing. You can find the Connect to iTunes option by right clicking on a book or clicking the menu arrow beside the Send to Device button on the top menu of Calibre. I find connecting the device and sending the books directly to it and iTunes at the same time to be more effective, however.
Send more than one book at a time by holding down shift and selecting multiple titles before you make the transfer.
If you have trouble connecting or just want to make sure you have all of the settings tweaked just right, GRiker (the fellow who created the Apple Device Interface plugin for Calibre) has put together a step by step tutorial to help you make that happen:
What do you think of Calibre’s ability to convert and send books right to your iBooks bookshelf? Will it make you more likely to use iBooks as your main eReader?