How to Connect Obsidian with EBooks

Although the title I use is How to Connect Obsidian with Books, the showcase introduced here can be used in all note-taking software (include Typora, Roamresearch, etc. ) to make at least one-way link between notes and documents, like books–>Typora, Roamresearch, Logseq, etc.

First

You need at least two softwares(and three plugins btw) to connect books with Obsidian.

Links to download these softwares or plugins are at the end of article.

Next, I will show you how to connect obsidian with books by using these softwares and plugins.

Second

Zotero

Zotero cooperates with Zotfile to support the extraction of notes or highlights in pdfs, which gives you corresponding positions of those notes or highlights and content of them.

For exmaple, you got a Book.pdf with many notes or highlights, now you import it into Zotero, you will get a item named Book. Then, click the Manage attachment->Extract Annotations in the context menu of the item. Gotcha, you get all notes or highlights of Book.pdf and the positions of them.

You can just copy them on the Notes pane in zotero, but now you have another way to make things perfect. By using Mdnotes, these notes can be transformed into more MD-like notes. Like screenshot as followed.

When you click on any link near these notes, you can jump to positions of the notes or highlights you took. You can jump to the original text to view the context.

PS: Zotero using URI(like obsidian did) to let you jump to specific page. The link it generated seems like

[note on p.?](zotero://open-pdf/library/items/GIBFC4MH?page=5)

PLUS workflow:

  • Copy notes URL to make them a hyperlink that links to the notes or highlights, which means Obsidian<–>Pdf

Calibre

Calibre is a book manager with a slow opening book viewer, the book viewer supports near all kinds of ebooks on the web.

Before Calibre ver 5.9.0 released, I used it to transfer or manage my ebooks. But release of Calibre ver 5.9.0 makes things change: it allows you to jump to location of the notes or highlights of the book like Zotero( Also like Obsidian)

Use book viewer of Calibre to read book, take notes in it or highlight text in it. Then close the book and press B key on your keyboard, select the Export all selected in the lower right corner of the panel (Sorry I was using CN-GUI)

A pop-up menu will let you choose what format to export or copy directly to the clipboard.

Finally, you get all your notes on your books as follow.

Just enjoy jumping from notes to ebooks.

WHY

If you ever tried zettelkasten or read how to take smart notes , you do know how important for people to take literature notes. Notes with a jump-able link are helpful for people to read context or trace to the source.

Final

Some methods or techniques have been shared in the forum, I just did a small job of integrating these techniques or methods. Hope these would be helpful for you.

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