Splitting a Calibre Library

 · 2 min read
 · shakiestnerd
Table of contents

If you have a collection of eBooks, you may already be a Calibre user. Calibre is a powerful ebook manager that helps organize your collection of electronic books. It supports every major ebook format that I have ever thrown at it. If you have any ebook or document collection that you need to manage, definitely check out Calibre. It does a ton of stuff. Visit the calibre-ebook.com web site to learn more about this amazing, free and open source software.

Splitting a Large Library

If you have a lot of ebooks, your Calibre library may have grown large and sluggish. I have over 1,200 ebooks, many of them large PDF files. My library was slowing down noticeably. So, I decided to split out my "technical" books into their own library and leave all my other books (mostly fiction) in the main library. Here are the steps involved to create and move some of your books to a 2nd library.

For this tutorial, I am taking my TechLibrary and am splitting out all of the "Cheat Sheet" documents that I have. This way, they will all be in their own library (see NOTE 1 below).

Step 1 - Create the new library

Create a new library to hold the documents you will be moving. Do this by clicking your current libraries icon on the toolbar. Then from the drop down menu, select "Switch/create library..."


Enter the location for your new library, choose the "Create an empty library at the new location" radio button. Optionally, also check the "Copy structure from the current library". Click the OK button to proceed. Once the new library has been created, it will open, but will of course be empty.


After the new library has been created, click the current library icon on the toolbar and use the Quick Switch option to move back to your original library.

Step 2 - Move books to the new library

To move files to the new library, select one or more desired books, then right-click on the selected books. From the pop-up menu, choose Copy to library >> CheatSheetLibrary (delete after copy). This will copy the books to the new library and remove them from the current one.


It may take a minute to perform the copy based on the number of books selected and the size of those books. When finished, you will find that the selected files have been moved to the new library. If you have a large number of books to move, it is probably best to do it in batches of files. I have been able to move fifty books at a time without difficulty.


  1. Calibre has a feature called virtual libraries that is probably better for handling the situations where you just want to create groups of books. But, the purpose of this walk-through is to show the steps in splitting a library.