I've been an Apple user for some years, but I never managed to find a good book manager. As by now, I use a quite uncomfortable routine in order to read books (I should mention that most of the books I read are PDFs, I read a lot of open source books on computer science):

  • I download them on my Mac
  • I add them to iTunes, and I edit their properties by, for example, taking advantage of the composer field to store informations about the publishing house and the genre field to store the "topic" of the book (which is awful, I can't group books based on these details, just based on author/category)
  • I sync all of my books with my iPad, and I read them only from there (using iBooks), because I don't like the fact that on my Mac I haven't got a version of iBooks (what I need is a system that remembers the last read page, for instance)

What I'm searching for is an iTunes-like book manager that provides me with a desktop version which lets me organize my books properly (for example adding multiple authors, tags, categories, publishing house), sync them with my iPad (with last-read-page syncing at least) and read them in a proper way. What I mean with proper way is that while both iBooks and Kindle app let me switch from white to sepia to black background on eBooks, they won't let me do that on PDFs. I know that changing text size in PDFs is quite an hard task, but I don't think changing the color is too.

If someone is wondering, I already tried Papers 2, but it's most suited for academic papers than for books (in my opinion). If nothing comes out from this question, maybe I'll try to stick with Papers for a while.

1 Answer 1


Calibre is one of the best open source eBook Management tools:


Features include:

  • Library Management
  • E-book conversion
  • Syncing to e-book reader devices
  • Downloading news from the web and converting it into e-book form
  • Comprehensive e-book viewer
  • Content server for online access to your book collection
  • Thank you for the answer. Yes, I used Calibre for quite a long time, but first it doesn't have an iPad counterpart, which is very very important to me since I read almost exclusively on my iPad, and also it's (IMHO) one of the most awful and most badly realized app in the software panorama. Commented Mar 8, 2013 at 22:07
  • @whatyouhide I'm sorry your experience with Calibre was that bad, hopefully a better alternative is within grasp.
    – Simon
    Commented Mar 9, 2013 at 11:00

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