Create a full-featured library interface
The list of titles in Bookle is currently static; all you can do is add and delete them. In a future version, we're envisioning an interface more like iTunes, where there are multiple columns displaying the various metadata for each book: title, author, date added, size, and so on. You'd be able to sort the list by any of the columns, which would help with much larger libraries.
Allen Gainsford commented
I think I have to agree with everything deanishe just said... (though the library might well be another view of the main window, or a sheet, rather than a separate window).
I'm ambivalent to an iTunes-like library, but the library as it stands is positively annoying.
From the manual:
"At the moment, there’s only a single way to remove an EPUB from your library, since it’s something you’re unlikely to want to do all that often"
That would be true if the library weren't constantly in the way. Nobody needs to constantly see all their books while they're reading, especially when it pushes the TOC (which you might well want to see) off the screen.
There's almost no benefit to having instant access to all my other books while I'm reading one. It's just a distraction.
The library should be in a separate window where it isn't interfering with the TOC.
What's more, I don't want Bookle copying my books to its library. It's not as if it offers any actual management, filtering, search or editing features, so it's just filling up my HD with unnecessary copies.
Due to the dearth of display options, I actively dislike Bookle making its own library. I often have to edit a book in Calibre to format it so that Bookle displays it properly (add margins so Bookle's scrollbar doesn't overlap the text, take care of leading, paragraph spacing etc.), and usually end up with three different copies in my Bookle library as a result.
And these are a pain to delete because of Bookle's lack of library management features (no multiple selection, no keyboard shortcut to delete books).
Personally, I'd like to be able to disable the library until it provides some sort of benefit rather than just causing extra work.
@Otto, do you like the sidebar for the table of contents or the library list? Just so I'm clear on your usage pattern.
Otto Schouwstra commented
Nice app! Very happy with it!
Here in the Netherlands I can get my newspaper as ePub. In Bookle the sidebar makes such a paper a lot easier to read compared other ePub readers!
So please, if changes are made, always leave the sidebar as an option.
Allen Gainsford commented
An option to hide the sidebar isn't a bad idea, actually. Yes, it hides the table of contents. But when you can navigate easily from chapter to chapter with the keyboard, you don't necessarily need the table of contents all the time.
@Tomm, so you want to see the entire sidebar disappear, even though that will also hide the table of contents?
Tomm Sivertsen commented
I was really happy when the app appeared. I'd been hunting high n' low as it were. All I need now is the ability to collapse the library sidebar.
I imagine that it would be possible to maintain multiple libraries in Bookle, even with sandboxing, but they would still all be internal to the app's sandbox. The solution may be just another level of metadata, so you can collect multiple titles together into folders under the Library heading, and expand each of those as desired. Tons of great ideas here - the task now is just to figure out what we can do, and in what order, since we may add the library features on incrementally to avoid a many month delay.
John Kauffman commented
I like all of the suggestions here.
I haven't had a chance to play with the app much, but I like what I see... and if even a few of the suggestions can be implemented it holds great promise. One thing I've noticed is that the library is referred to as a single object, and I wonder if this is intentional? One nice touch I like in Calibre is the ability to create and switch between multiple libraries.
Have you given this any thought? Is it even feasible with the sandboxing requirements of the App Store?
I wonder if using a symlink and moving the library to Dropbox (allowing a user to share the library across macs) would break anything?
Michael Slater commented
I agree with Mr Schenck that searchable folders is a quick, intuitive approach.
Frank Manuel commented
Bookle is such a great step forward; now I have ann alternative to my iPhone for reading ePub books. Adding the full-featured interface seems a logical next step.
@Lindsey, are you talking about just the library or the entire sidebar? You can collapse the Library section of the sidebar either by closing its triangle (Snow Leopard) or hovering over it and clicking Hide to the right (Lion).
Lindsey Thomas Martin commented
Add ability to hide the library as it's distracting while reading (though margins will help).
Christopher Allen commented
One of my major interests in the library interface is tags, and the ability to import Calibre's metadata.
James Schenck commented
First congrats. I did read books in Stanza pre iPad and though it works, it isn't pretty.
Best would be the iBook type interface but I don't want you to get sued!. There should be at least a way to sort, organize by folders. Also the search for the files in containers is a bit of an Easter Egg hunt. You could have a reveal folder command.
Also, I don't know how practical it would be, but if additional file formats are ever added, some way to associate multiple files with a single instance of a book (like Calibre can) would be nice.
I would personally be incredibly happy with an interface that was basically:
- iTunes, except
- with all of the ePub-specific metadata used (including stuff like publisher, ISBN, publication date, and so on),
- with the ability to list single books under multiple authors simultaneously,
- a good way to group books into series, including partial numbers (so I can have book 3.5 in a novel series to put in a collection of short stories, for example),
- and a way to group works with no specific authors separately, such as magazines or reference works.
The series thing in particular is a standout, since that's something that no software I've seen handles well, including Calibre. For an example of a test case, there's the Man-Kzin Wars series - a series of short-story collections with a number of different authors involved, and none especially consistent from book to book.
Thanks for the feedback here, folks! This is exactly why we didn't try to guess at what people would want with a library management interface to start, since it's hard to know exactly how people interact with their libraries, particularly large ones.
We haven't started mocking up how to do library management, but we'll certainly keep things like smart folders and very large libraries in mind.
@Diane Unfortunately, the way iTunes can open PDFs in Preview is an iTunes function, not something Mac OS X does, so double-clicking an EPUB in iTunes does nothing at all. Would be nice if iTunes would just hand off to the Finder, but it doesn't.
Why reinvent the wheel? iTunes already exists. I already use it to put my books into smart folders. I can open PDFs from iTunes, but not ePubs. Can that be made to work?