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Discuss the situation on GR > How to Import a GR CSV into Calibre

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message 1: by Krazykiwi (new)

Krazykiwi | 54 comments This is pretty rough, unformatted, but I hope will do the trick.


Note: This is JUST to import a csv. There are another set of plugins that will fetch covers, and keep your shelves up to date now that CSV files are turned off, but they need to be done 50 books or less at a time. So if you have hundreds of books, you'll want to bootstrap it off an existing CSV file, but this list import part is kind of tricky, so I did that part separately.

Hope it's useful to someone.

message 2: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Thanks, Kiwi, for posting. I'm not up for any of this now, but this is the kind of thing I might come back to and find very helpful.

message 3: by Mir (new)

Mir | 11 comments Same here. Thanks for writing it up!

Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) (themis-athena) | 209 comments Cool, this is very helpful. (Btw: Do you happen to know whether we can use Calibre with BookLikes as well?)

message 5: by Krazykiwi (new)

Krazykiwi | 54 comments We can't yet, I took a look at it, but the GR plugin for Calibre is a monster, it's grown up over years and years, by one guy, and it's sort of a wilderness of code.

But there is an api, and I've been playing with it a little. My main problem is I don't know python (the programming language Calibre is written in). If there's any pro python programmers around though, they could probably get something basic working fairly easily.

I was also working on exporting posts from BL via a web app, but I kind of put it on hold, at the rate BL is adding features, and since they know how desparately we want it, I'm pretty sure they'll have a built in csv export done pretty soon. And when they do, the instructions I linked above will more or less work fine (the field names in the CSV will be different, but the general procedure will be the same).

message 6: by Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) (last edited Nov 21, 2013 01:55PM) (new)

Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) (themis-athena) | 209 comments Thanks -- that's what I suspected; I think I'll wait for BookLikes to catch up, then (which I, too, am sure they will, sooner or later). The last thing I'll probably want to do is try and synch a Calibre/GR database with a Calibre/BookLikes one ...

Linda (un)Conventional Bookworms (linda_unconventional_bookworms) Thanks so much Krazykiwi :) I'm gonna play with this a little so I can have my lists handy on my mac!

message 8: by Krazykiwi (new)

Krazykiwi | 54 comments I swear, the other part with the GR plugins is way way easier (and more fun)! I'll try get that done on the weekend, my work week kind of exploded, after a real slow start.

message 9: by Mike (new)

Mike | 1 comments I just uninstalled Calibre, because no matter how many times I installed the plugin "Import List," and restarted Calibre, the plugin would not show up. Without the Import List, it was useless.

message 10: by Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) (last edited Jul 01, 2015 03:31PM) (new)

Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) | 445 comments I'm having major issues getting csv file imported to calibre. It tries then goes no where because could not match books to books in the calibre library.

Duh? I cannot import my book catalog because the books are not already cataloged in calibre library? Why the hell would I go through and manually add books to the library and then import a csv file to add the same books?

I'm not sure I'm understanding the import plugin or calibre. I'm trying -- but, I really don't see how calibre allows me to keep a book catalog unless I allow it to have the actual book -- which is what I have hardware like computers and ereader devices and Adobe Digital Editions for the odd bits I cannot backup or add to/from ereader devices myself. I would never use calibre to load a book to an ereader, convert an ebook, or edit an ebook -- just for cataloging book data exactly like I'd see in my goodreads/leafmarks csv file data.

Ditto for the goodreads plugins -- can't sync to goodreads shelves/books because books are not in my calibre library.

message 11: by Krazykiwi (new)

Krazykiwi | 54 comments You don't want to match the books, you're importing new books entirely. That's what the instructions up above in the first post were - they would have worked with a completely clean Calibre install and no books whatsoever in it's library. Unfortunately the web server hard drive died literally two weeks ago, and I hadn't been backing up personal files, only the work ones, but I'll have a dig around and see if I can't find a copy. It's pretty easy to do, but really difficult to explain, so I really don't want to re-write them. Also whatever the opposite of Murphy's law that they quite literally disappeared only just now.

In other news: it's perfectly ok to have books without e-book formats on disk, I have tons of them in Calibre (it really doesn't care, honest). All my paperbacks and hardbacks are catalogued there too, I just add them by ISBN.

You can add empty (no e-book format on disc) records when you synch with the GR sync plugin. First it fetches a list from GR, then you get the window and it says somewhere on that dialogue that there are unmatched books. You can double click each one that's unmatched, and it'll search your local calibre, where you can match them if they're already there.

If not, you can right click in the list and then do "Add new book record" (paraphrasing, I'm not on my laptop to check the exact wording) That will add a new entry, probably with no metadata, just the GR ID, which is enough.

You can try this out, open the "Add books" button, and there's an option to add by ISBN, just dump a bunch of isbn's in there (one per line, as many as you like, I've done hundreds at a time before).

Make sure you have the GR metadata plugin installed.

Then you just do this: Select a bunch of books (not more than 50 at a time, or GR will rate limit you, I do 25 cos that's about a screen full anyway.) Hit ctrl-D and when the download metadata dialogue pops up that first time, choose the "configure metadata downloading" option. In the next window, uncheck everything except GR (else you'll be pulling from Amazon et al, and you certainly know how dodgy their metadata is!). You can also tweak the GR one a little, for instance I don't let it download community ratings. All this part you only have to do once.

After that, just select books, Ctrl-D, (or right click and choose from the menu) and it'll go fetch metadata in the background, and alert you as each batch is done.

Doing it with the CSV file is a whole lot faster, and the way I explained it originally lets you store a copy of your reviews and ratings locally there too (with or without synching those with other sites), so it's a pretty complete solution. I really hope I can find those instructions.

Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) | 445 comments Thank you for messaging them to me. I'm having a busy weekend but I'll sit down and look into it as soon as I can.

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