How to mark books as read in Calibre

How to mark books as read in CalibreIn this article I will describe how to mark/flag books you have already read in Calibre. Calibre is probably one of the best open source E-book library management application out there. It comes with many great tools and features and it’s easy to customize. By default there is no prebuild possibility to mark books you have already read in your library, but that’s where Calibres possibilities of customization come in handy. You can achieve this by simply adding a new column to your library. Just follow these simple steps:


  1. Start Calibre
  2. Click on Preferences > Add your own columns > Add custom Column (or green add symbol)
  3. Set the “Lookup name” to “read” (this is the name used for searching this column),
    set the “Column heading” to “Read” and
    set the “Column type” to “Yes/No”.
  4. Click on “Ok” and make sure that your new column is enabled.
  5. Click on the “Apply” button in the top left corner.
  6. A new window will open up telling you that Calibre requires to be restarted:
    Click on “Restart calibre now”
  7. After the restart of Calibre the new column named “Read” will be shown in your library list. You can change the position of the column by drag and drop. I made it the first column of the list.


Custom field

Add custom field



Marking a book as read

Select the desired book by clicking on its list entry and click once inside the empty “read” cell of the entry. A drop down menu will appear. By clicking on the drop down menu you can select “Yes” (the check mark symbol) or “No” (the cross symbol). Simply set every book you have read to “Yes” and that’s how you can mark books as read.


Mark book as read

Check mark

Select check mark

Show read books in Cover Grid

Of course there is also a way to show the “Read” status in the “Cover Grid” (Alt+Shift+G) perspective:

  1. Open Preferences > Look and Feel > Cover Grid
  2. Enable “Show field (such as title) under the covers”
  3. Select “Read” from the “Field to show under the covers” dropdown menu.
  4. Click on “Apply” and from now on you will see the word “Yes” under the cover books you have marked as read.
Cover Grid Options

Cover Grid Options

Cover Grid

Marked as read in Cover Grid

That’s it! You can also use the new “read” field to sort, search and filter your books by this attribute.

Legal notice: The title image was created by using this and this image, both released into the public domain


About M0nk3ym0nk3y

M0nk3ym0nk3y is one of the three LinuxM0nk3ys from Linux M0nk3ys @ WordPress Linux M0nk3ys @ YouTube Linux M0nk3ys @ Twitter

Posted on February 2, 2014, in Configure, Software, Troubleshooting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Very usefull, thanks

  2. Usefull, thank you too.

  3. You made my day today! Thank YOU!

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