State of the eBook ecosystem

Here’s what I’m looking for.

  • An always available library. I want my books stored in the cloud somewhere, and always available. I mostly end up reading books when I’m traveling/on flights, and being able to access my library on the go is a necessity.
  • I want to have control of my books; not learn to trust yet another cloud storage platform that may not be around in a couple of months/years. I want to store my books on a cloud storage platform that I already trust, like Dropbox or Google Drive.
  • Simple Drag & Drop uploading. I don’t want to upload my books individually. I should be a able to drag and drop my library into a Dropbox folder and have them magically show up in my library. Integrate with my cloud storage provider.
  • Automatic metadata. I judge my books by their cover. If my ebook is missing cover art or metadata I’m less likely to read it or even remember what it’s about. When I add a book to the library it should get the books’ metadata automatically.
  • Simple. While I love the customizability and power of Calibre, it can be a little much, especially for my Mom and Dad. I want something simple to use, that works with little to no configuration.
  • Calibre support. Calibre is the standard ebook manager for good reason. Its incredibly powerful, and I should be able to import/export/manage my cloud library from Calibre, just like I would a physical ebook reader.

Before you start mentioning Calibre Web Server, stop. I don’t want to open up ports on my home router. I don’t want to manage updates on an always-on server. I don’t think its something my Mom would be able to setup.

Its been almost 4 years since I shut down my cloud ebook manager startup which had almost all of these features. I’ve kept hoping that someone else would come up with a viable alternative, and I could just pay them.

These are the features I want. I’ve spending years searching for an alternative since I shut down QuietThyme, but I’ve grown impatient.

I’ve completely re-written QuietThyme with these features at it’s core. It was always a service that I built for myself, but I don’t think I’m alone in my unhappiness with the current state of the ebook ecosystem.

I’m looking for other ebook lovers that wish this shit just worked. If you’re willing to be a beta tester/guinea pig/developer/cofounder, please get in touch.

-Jason

Jason Kulatunga

Build Automation & Infrastructure guy @Adobe. I write about, and play with, all sorts of new tech. All opinions are my own.

San Francisco, CA blog.thesparktree.com

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