How to send books / transfer your collection from Calibre to iPhone / iPad in Stanza

I just got my new iPad and beside installing various news apps and games, I wanted to transfer a lot of books. A quick check around and I realized Stanza is the best iPad eReader if you plan to use your own eBook collection. Most of the brand eReaders on iPad (Kindle, Nook, iBooks) are proprietary and won’t allow you to open files in more open formats (epub is one of them) so I downloaded Stanza.

By default, since iOS file system is not easily available, especially if you don’t jailbreak your device, Stanza prefers to get eBooks from online sources like ebookstores or free sources – Project Gutemberg, Random house Free Library and alike.  There are two ways to add books to Stanza, one via iTunes, the other one by setting a Content Server in Calibre.

1. Add eBooks in Stanza for iPhone / iPad via iTunes

This solution is not recommended for large libraries because it doesn’t support adding a folder at once. To add file by file go to iTunes->Devices->Your Device name here->Apps and scroll down in the page to File Sharing section. Under File Sharing section you should see an Apps list that can do file sharing (in my list are present Google Earth, Kindle and Stanza). Select Stanza and, under Stanza Documents which will initially have two books, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Welcome to Stanza” manual you should see an Add button. Click on it and you’ll be able to add any ebook file you want. directly to Stanza’s library. Once added, if your iPad / iPhone is connected via USB to iTunes, the book will automatically be sent to Stanza and available in the library.

2. Add eBooks in Stanza for iPhone / iPad via Calibre

This method supports batch loading in a certain way. To use it, you’ll have to have the last version of Calibre installed. Add your eBooks normally to Calibre library and be sure your iPhone / iPad is connected via USB.

Step 1: Click the Connect/share button and select Start Content Server. If you performed this activity for the first time, you might be prompted in Windows by a Security Alert Window. Click Allow access button. At this point, the Calibre Content Server should be enabled and Stanza should be able to see it.


Step 2: Go to your iPhone / iPad, open Stanza, look at the bottom and click Get Books button. Look at the bottom and click Shared option. If everything works well, Stanza should find your computer right away and you can start getting your eBooks.

If for some reason Stanza cannot detect your Calibre Content Server, you can add it manually by clicking on the + button to add a book source manually. Under name, type anything you like and under URL type the IP address for the computer running  Calibre in the following format:

And replace with your actual IP adress. Click Save. The newly added book source should be listed under Book Sources and you should be able to browse it and download any eBook you want on your iPhone / iPad. You can also get all the eBooks at once (at least all the books currently listed on the screen)  by clicking on the top right button. If you have a large collection, just keep hitting  “Load More Results…” button at the bottom of the page until your entire collection is displayed. Then, click the top right button to download them all on your device. Be warned that you NEED WiFi for large collections.

Step 3: Don’t forget to stop your Calibre Content Server (Same Connect/share button) once you are done sharing.

Step 4: If this tutorial helped you, the only thing I want in return is to share your experiences with the rest of the community.

  • I jailbreaked my iphone 4 yesterday and was surprised that my ibooks app stopped working. ive been in front of my pc for half of the day looking for a solution this page really helped me and im now happily reading my books.thank u!!!!!