Calibre – Easily Manage & Convert eBooks for your BlackBerry for Free

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One of the things I truly love to do on my BlackBerry is read books. The thing is RIM does not offer a proper way to do this out of the box and developers have been keeping us a bit wanting for solutions. In the past I have told you about my favorite MobiPocket Reader which has truly gone downhill since Amazon acquired them and released the Kindle. Now that OverDrive has released a free ePub eBook reader for BlackBerry I am back in the game!

One of the main questions people had about OverDrive is: How do I convert eBooks, documents, and even news to a format I can read in OverDrive or even MobiPocket on my BlackBerry? There is a simple answer to that question and it is called Calibre. It is a free opensource application for Windows, Mac, and Linux that helps you manage and convert eBooks for your BlackBerry and many other devices.

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Calibre performs four essential functions for me thought there are many other uses for it:

  • Manages your eBook library on your computer kind of like a music management system
  • Converts eBooks between the following formats:
    • Input Formats: CBZ, CBR, CBC, CHM, EPUB, FB2, HTML, LIT, LRF, MOBI, ODT, PDF, PRC**, PDB, PML, RB, RTF, SNB, TCR, TXT
    • Output Formats: EPUB, FB2, OEB, LIT, LRF, MOBI, PDB, PML, RB, PDF, SNB, TCR, TXT
  • Easily export or sync a set of books to my BlackBerry over USB
  • Downloads news from both websites and RSS feeds and can turn them into eBooks. I have some long form sites that are not time sensitive that I use this for.

If you like reading eBooks on your BlackBerry or want to get more into it I highly recommend checking out Calibre at this link. Let me know if you find any other good BlackBerry eBook reading tools or resources!

5 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Very useful application. I have been using it for a few years now to convert files for my Ebook reader

  2. I really hate this Calibre’s epub converter function, because basically ePub is HTML-base and when Calibre does converting, it creates tons of unnecessary stuff which makes ePub file heavier. For example it use very long name in html tags, style in tags, long class names… These are not necessary and produce same things when display.

    You can view source of epub html files after converting to see the ugly things.

    However, it’s still very useful in many cases.

    Thanks Ronen.

  3. I love this software. Been using it for sometime and it serves its purpose.

  4. Been using Calibre for some time as I have over 500 books now in epub format. What I couldn’t find was a way to then take those epub books and get them into Overdrive. Ronen, any insight to that would be appreciated. I was not able to get Overdrive to recognize Calibre’s server. Or was I able to get it to read epubs just copied into the Overdrive Download folder. The problem may go away with the Playbook running Android apps when I can use the Nook for Andriod app.

  5. I had trouble getting the ePubs into OverDrive as well. The best I could come up with was to save them to a separate folder on my BB SD card and then open them. When they are opened, OverDrive pulls the file into its library and it is available for use. It’s not the most convenient way to go, but it gets you there. If anyone has a better way, I’m anxious to hear it.

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