I have a personal library of over fifteen hundred books. I travel often. To keep my library available whether I’m in Florida, New York, or Texas, I use cloud storage. The most popular ones for personal use are Google Drive, Amazon Cloud, Dropbox, and OneDrive. They all offer free space hoping you will eventually buy a subscription. My entire library is occupying less than 700 megabytes. I use OneDrive.
A problem for those of us who are not corporate users with extensive training is that these cloud services can be troublesome if you are a newbie. You’ve only to search the web to see the endless string of baffled users trying to keep their folders from constantly syncing and hoping to rescue deleted files from their computers. With slow internet connections or during high web-traffic, these syncs can become a nightmare.
Cloud services are designed primarily to “back up” your folders. This means uploading all your folders to the cloud storage swallowing whatever free space you were given. Often these files are deleted from your computer to be accessed from the web. Folders you wish to access offline, must be set to do so individually.
Sometimes, deleting a file or folder from the service means it disappears from your device too! You have to go hunting through the service’s recycle bin to rescue the item and hope it is still there. All this can be prevented, but you have to know how to do it and do it before the installation is final. Once a syncing begins, it is difficult to stop if you have no idea how to do it.
If you are not an experienced cloud user, take the safe way out. Do not install the service on your PC or laptop. You can upload manually from the site itself. In this manner, the storage space becomes a place to keep copies of specific files you wish to protect and access at need. On your mobile devices, install the app but make sure that again, it is not set to automatically sync and backup everything, unless that is what you want.
Now, let me show you my way of creating my library. My way is simple, works, uses my storage space efficiently, and I control it. For the initial upload of your books, you want a fast and reliable internet connection. I live in a remote location and have a slow connection. One book uploads in moments, but owing to the size of my library, it took a while to upload it.
I use OneDrive, which belongs to Microsoft. Anyone can sign up for a free Microsoft Account. You get 5 Gigs free storage with the Basic Subscription. It costs nothing. To get your free 5 Gigs, sign up for a free Basic Plan at the Microsoft site.
To create your library:
You begin by signing into your OneDrive account at the Microsoft site. Do not install the OneDrive App on your PC.
Click on “My Files” folder. Yours should be empty. The image below shows mine, which is no longer empty. Now, click on “Upload.”
The PC’s directory comes up. Navigate to the location of your Calibre Library on the /Users/Documents folder on the PC. Highlight the Calibre Library.
Click on “Upload” at the bottom right. OneDrive will prompt you to confirm. Confirm the upload, and the upload begins. The entire folder will be copied to OneDrive. Nothing will be removed from the PC.
To upload new books:
Sign into your OneDrive account. “My files” screen will come up.
Open the folder labeled Calibre Library. This is where your books reside, organized by author. Click on the folder. All the subfolders show up, one for each author.
Select the author whose book you are uploading. Once the author’s folder is open, click on “Upload.” This ensures that the upload will be made to this folder.
If the book is by an author you do not yet have in your directory, from the Calibre folder (the parent folder) click on “New” and choose “folder.”
Label the new folder with the author’s name. Open the folder. It will be empty. Click on “Upload.”
Navigate to the Calibre folder in your PC, and then navigate to the author, then the book’s folder. Highlight the book’s folder and click on “Upload.” Your book will be uploaded to the right author’s folder, the one you created.
OneDrive will ask you to confirm the upload. Do so, and the upload immediately starts. A few seconds later, the book appears in the OneDrive author folder. Easy as that! Anytime you buy a new book, get it into Calibre and upload it the same way.