Manual on how to organise shelves on your Kobo Glo from your desktop pC with Calibre

This page explains how to create and manage shelves on your KOBO e-reader from your desktop or laptop PC with Calibre (e-reader utility).

KOBO GLO (shelves)

Please read these explanations carefully. Don't be too hasty, it's better to go slow and read each and every line then to try to do this in a hurry!


Please note that the following manual worked for us, but that in case you want to try this out for yourself, you will be doing this at your own risk and we can and will not be held responsible for anything that may go wrong at your end! In case of doubt or if you are not sure about what you are about to do, seek professional help.

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 Kobo shelves configuration


1. Add a custom column to calibre
-> Preferences | Change Calibre Behaviour | Add your own columns
-> Now select 'Add custom column'
-> Select 'Tags' in 'Quick create'
-> I use 'Lookup Name' = 'Myshelves' and 'Column heading' = 'My Shelves'
-> Important: (plse check) this column MUST BE of type 'Comma separated text, like tags, shown in the tag browser'

2. Configured either the Kobo Glo, Globo Touch or Kobo Touch Extended driver, depending on which you are using.
-> Preferences | Advanced | Plugins
-> Now expand 'Device Interface plugins' section and search for 'KoboGlo', 'KoboTouch' or 'Kobo Touch Extended' driver
-> With your choice highlighted, select 'Customize plugin'
-> In the area for shelf info, type '#myshelves' (beware to use the '#' tag)

 Kobo shelves - Shelf management with Calibre

Shelf Management with calibre for your Kobo (GLO)

 Shelf Management with calibre

-> Now you can select any other relevant options at your own choice, but I suggest that at least you select the 'Create Bookshelves' and 'Delete Empty Bookshelves' options. The others are not shelf specific.

When you edit the metadata for a book, search for the 'Custom Metadata' area. In the field 'My Shelves' type in whatever (name of) shelves you want the books to be placed in. The shelves which don't exist on your Kobo will be created.

 Kobo Glo shelves management

calibre has three options concerning updating Metadata on the Kobo. Options affect how & when shelves are managed on the Kobo.

-> Preferences | Import/Export | Sending books to devices
-> The Metadata management selection has 3 options:
-> Manual management: Calibre updates the metadata and adds collections only when a book is sent. With this option, calibre will never remove a collection.
-> Only on send: Calibre updates metadata and adds/removes collections for a book only when it is sent to the Kobo.
-> Automatic management: Calibre automatically keeps metadata on the Kobo in sync with the calibre library, on every connect

 Shelves management with Calibre

I always use 'automatic management'. Works great for me. If you choose the option 'Manual management', your shelves will never-ever be removed.