Raspberry Pi as an Ebook server: Tutorial

Handling a huge collection of ebooks can be cumbersome. The books can be acquired from multiple locations, they can implement multiple form of copyright protection and they are several different ebook readers available. Raspberry Pi can fix all of these problems, by turning it into an ebook server! It stores all of your Ebooks and they are remotely available anywhere. Here's a tutorial on how to install Calibre.

What is Calibre?

Calibre is an ebook management software. All your acquired eBooks will be installed in Calibre, so they can be remotely accessed. Calibre supports multiple client platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and several eInk devices, like Kindle. You can also browse the books with a web browser.

Installation 

  1. Install Raspbian for Raspberry Pi
  2. Run command "sudo apt-get update"
  3. Confirm the command by inputting your password
  4. Run command "sudo apt-get install calibre"
  5. Confirm installation by typing "Y"
  6. You can start Calibre from the main menu in Raspbian or by running the command "calibre" in your terminal

During the first boot Calibre will ask for example the directory where the eBooks will be saved and the devices you will be using to read the ebooks.

Getting Ebooks

You can add single books using the "Add Books"-menu at the top. Calibre supports a huge amount of different file formats, for example DOCX, MOBI, EPUB and PDF.

From the top menu "Get Books" you can acquire books from different sources. If you want to test reading books recommend to use the Project Gutenberg source, their books are freely distributed (try searching for example "Mark Twain").

Starting the server

First, you should find out the IP address of your Raspberry Pi. It can be found out by running the command "ifconfig" in the terminal.

After this you can start Calibre server by expanding the top menu from the right side and choosing "Connect/share". From the dropdown menu select "Start Content Server".

Your server is now running, you can test it by opening your browser and going to YOUR-RASPBERRY-IP-ADDRESS:8080, so for example 192.168.0.1:8080.

You can install the Calibre client app to your devices and by giving them the IP address of your Raspberry Pi you should be able to access all of your ebooks remotely.

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