How do I make a large eBook collection (25000 titles or so) searchable?
February 9, 2013 4:03 AM   Subscribe

Looking for solutions to make a 25,000 title eBook collection of different file types searchable. I use Calibre to manage this monstrosity but I want to be able to run searcheswwithin these books. Wishful thinking? I don't code and I have no time to plod through learning it.
posted by dave78981 to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
It depends, in part, on the formats of the books. E.g. books which are scanned images can't be searched. Epub text can be searched like a normal text file, almost (there are mark-ups which could sometimes cause problems.)
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:49 AM on February 9, 2013

Clarification: You want the titles and authors to be searchable, or you want the content of the books to be searchable?
posted by zug at 6:41 AM on February 9, 2013

posted by dave78981 at 7:53 AM on February 9, 2013

For what it's worth, epubs are basically .zips containing html files. So yes, they're very "texty," but they're wrapped in a crunchy shell of compression. (If you change the extension on one to .zip, you can expand it and poke at its insides.)

What OS do you want to run these searches on? On MacOS, Spotlight doesn't natively index/search epubs, but there's an open source plugin you can download and install that will enable it. Get it here:

Within Calibre, the native search only looks at metadata. However, kiwidude's Quality Check plugin will search (among other things) epub content and return a list of hits. It's not ideal, but it's better than nothing.
posted by mumkin at 10:44 AM on February 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Thanks mumkin. I'm using windows. I was thinking it would be cool if Google desktop search indexed content or something along those lines.
posted by dave78981 at 12:17 PM on February 9, 2013

In theory, some of the desktop search programs - like Copernic - can have custom file types added to the index. You should be able to add epub and mobi. However, I have not tested it myself (by all means, if you do, post the results).
posted by timepiece at 11:35 AM on February 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

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