Calibre — an old friend

Back in 2012 I posted:

11 April 2012

I have borrowed/adapted my title and the following picture from My Overstuffed Bookshelf.


How many books are in that picture? Around 200, I would say.

Now let’s look at my virtual bookshelf, as seen in Calibre on my laptop. 


That’s the latest freebie from Smashwords there in the reader window….

On Sunday on Facebook I wrote:

I have been using Calibre ebook Manager and Reader since at least February 2012 — on several computers, all but this one now dead. But Calibre and its library — so long as you back it up somewhere — happily migrate. At the moment I have 2,701 books — all of them free! Thanks Project Gutenberg, ANU Press, the sadly no longer with us University of Adelaide eBook Library (got all Orwell from them, for example, and all Proust!) plus Feedbooks and Smashwords. Some are short, like just a short story, but I also said Proust just now. And there is Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” — and a copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio!

The latest version of Calibre has “a ‘Read aloud’ function that works via the operating system’s Text-to-speech engine.” It does a few weird things — so that Dr. Dave is always said “Drive Dave” and the Rev. Dorothy McRae-McMahon becomes the Revelation Dorothy….But aside from that it is quite amazing! Even gets close to having normal intonation.

The Calibre Reader reading! The word being said is highlighted. The voice control is top right. The poem BTW is by WW1 poet Ivor Gurney. The voiced version is quite acceptable.

Don’t ask me how it works — but what a boon for us oldies!