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My Amazon Kindle synchronizes with my Amazon library. Additionally, I have a Calibre library, which publishes its contents via a web server. As far as I know, you can only copy books from the server, whereas Amazon functionally rsyncs your book, keeping your highlights, notes, and current reading position updated. Is there any technique or product which facilitates similar functionality using a self-hosted solution?

Thank you

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At this time, I'd say "no". When you read an epub in Calibre's internal reader it sets a bookmark in a file inside the epub, but most readers set that bookmark in a related (usually sqlite) database. And there's no standard for the bookmark format (well, there is, in epub3, but I haven't found anybody using it yet...).

But if you're willing to settle for using a particular set of devices, you could probably fairly simply extract the bookmarks from those, and translate them to be useful by the other devices. Notes, otoh, are much more complicated. Calibre does have a "universal" notes plugin--unfortunately, it requires support to be written for each device driver, and I think there are only one or two drivers that have it.

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LibreRead is not a perfect fit to your description, but it is worth a mention. It is essentially a "self-hosted, self-updating book repository", like you're describing. The one problem I have with it is that, instead of syncinc books on different devices, it centralizes the reading to its own web interface, practically "syncing" your progress by allowing you to use the same app on many device. This is probably a nice enough solution if you mainly read on your phone or laptop/desktop, but if you're using a dedicated ereader, the experience might be diminished (I don't know how browser support looks across ereaders).

If it sounds interesting, they have a demo available here.

  • that link is down... is it correct? – Walrus the Cat Sep 13 '18 at 19:17
  • The person who used to work on LibreRead is now working on JoyRead. Don't know if it's the same code but with a revamp or a complete rewrite. github.com/joyread – ahstro Sep 20 '18 at 20:23

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