Seeing Double? Eliminate Duplicate Books in Your Library

A recent commenter here on the blog expressed frustration at having duplicate books that clutter up My Library and hog space on his hard drive. Jonathan Pratt wrote,

One problem is that every series that I install comes with its own set of reference materials – typically a few versions of the Bible and a single volume commentary or two, perhaps some other stuff. Well I have lots of copies of (say) the authorized version of the Bible. Because each has a slightly different name [e.g "Authorized version", or "Bible - AV"] they are all installed (copied to my hard drive) and show up all over the place in My Library.

Last time I checked the Libronix repository was nearly 6GB in size – I know because I tried to back it up but I can’t fit it all on a single (single layer) DVD. I don’t know for sure, but maybe I could if I could somehow choose to delete/expunge books that I know are duplicates. Libronix itself doesn’t seem to be able to do that…

Let’s address these in order. First, you can rest easy knowing that it’s extremely unlikely that you have multiple copies of the same book.

Say you buy two products that both contain the KJV Bible. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean two copies of the KJV book file will end up on your drive. During installation, Libronix DLS compares the files on your hard drive with what’s on the disc you’re installing. If a file on disc is newer, it will overwrite what’s on your hard drive. If not, Libronix skips it and moves on.

Acouple of caveats are worthy of mention, however, and one of them is to blame for making Jonathan think there are duplicate files all over his hard drive.

Eliminate Duplicate Titles in My Library

When you open My Library, you may notice that many books are listed multiple times.

Titles 2, 3, 4 and 6 in this screenshot are all the same book. Why this duplication? Many books include multiple titles to allow for different ways of finding the book (e.g., AV, authorized, king james, kjv, etc).

Admittedly, with all these duplicate and sometimes triplicate titles it can be hard to find what you are looking for…and confusing to know when items with similar titles really are different books.The Cambridge Paragraph Bible of the Authorized English Version really is a different version of the KJV…not the same file at all!

To help reduce this confusion, we give you the option to display only the primary title of each book in My Library. Here’s how to set your preference:

  1. Go to Tools | Options | General
  2. On the left side of the Options window, click the Interface tab.
  3. Check the option “Use Only Primary Resource Titles in My Library” and click OK.

Now go back to My Library and you will only see one title for each book.

Ahhh…much better. Truth is, this is one of the first preferences I set when I install Logos on a new machine. And there’s really no downside…I can still type KJV in the find box and the King James Version will appear in the list.

Eliminate Duplicate Files from Your Hard Drive(s)

Most users copy all their Libronix book files to the default location on their hard drive and so never accumulate duplicate files. But the intrepid user among us may have set up multiple book caches, perhaps on more than one hard drive, and maybe even a network drive. As a result, this user—let’s call him a “Power User”—may have built up some duplicate book files on his hard drives.

If you fall into this category and feel the need to identify and eliminate those pesky dupes, you’ll want to install the free Power Tools Addin and use the Remove Duplicate Resources report therein.

After installing the addin, read through the help filejust to make sure you understand how the tool works and what it’s doing.The process is mostly automated anddeleted book files end up in your Recycle Bin, so the damage can be undone at any rate.

Wrapping It Up

To wrap things up in a neat little bundle…Libronix is probably not junking up your hard drive with duplicate book files. But you can always run the Remove Duplicate Resources report just to be sure. And by telling My Library to show only primary book titles, you can eliminate any remaining feelings of clutter that may still disturb your tranquility.

If you shared some of Jonathan’s questions and concerns at the beginning of this post, you should now sleep a little better tonight.

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7 Responses to “Seeing Double? Eliminate Duplicate Books in Your Library”

  1. Timothy D Lee March 8, 2007 at 7:10 am #

    I have never understood why the “Use Only Primary Resource Titles in My Library” was hidden in Options. To me, it would make more sense (and probably result in fewer customer service complaints) to place the checkbox right on the My Library window, maybe just under the “Arrange By” radio selection buttons.
    While I usually just want to see the primary title, there are times when I like looking at the variations in titles. (Yeah, I’m weird, but, since the default is to display everything, I’m guessing there are others who are weird, also!)
    Following my suggestion, you could either default to the last used setting, or change the verbiage in the options page to “Default is Use Only Primary Resource Titles in My Library” (or some other wording that would make more customer service sense.)
    None of this is causing me to loose sleep — and I feel the Libronix Digital Library System is great — but a change might make it a little more intuitive to the end user.

  2. Nigel March 8, 2007 at 8:09 am #

    Very helpful thanks. What about authors though. I have Bounds EM & EM Bounds, Same thing with Aw Pink

  3. Michelle March 8, 2007 at 11:54 am #

    Thanks so much for this info – I was wondering how to edit the My Library settings so they were actually easy to read! Cheers from NZ

  4. Daniel Foster March 8, 2007 at 1:39 pm #

    Timothy – Good suggestion on having the option right in My Library. I’ve submitted your suggestion to suggest@logos.com
    Nigel – Author names are a bit trickier. You’re not seeing the same book show up multiple times under various author names…you’re seeing a single author’s books show up under various author names.
    Fixing this would require us to 1) arbitrarily change the name used by the author and publisher or 2) create and maintain a master index with all the different variations used so that book designers could know that John MacArthur, John F. MacArthur, John MacArthur, Jr., and John F. MacArthur, Jr., are all the same person!
    Some publishers use one name for an author and some another; authors might intentionally use one name when writing a scholarly book and another name when writing a popular work. It’s not perfectly straightforward.
    So far we’ve remained consistent to the name that’s in the front matter of the book (this ensures that your citations line up with the corresponding print volume) and have not allocated resources to building a master index of authors. This could change in the future, however.

  5. Jon March 9, 2007 at 10:14 am #

    Its really more the multiple authors that get to me, I’d want it cited under the primary author always, but perhaps a way to edit the author displayed in the my library would be useful.

  6. Dave Garber April 4, 2008 at 5:33 pm #

    I want to remove some unused books from my library completely. I know how to find them, and delete the file, but How do I make them disappear from my library.
    example Vietnamese Bible

  7. Phil Gons April 5, 2008 at 8:22 am #

    Dave, all you need to do is Refresh Resources (Tools > Options > General > Resource Paths > Refresh Resources). After you click the button, restart Libronix and it will refresh your list of resources based on what is actually on your hard drive. Once it’s done refreshing, restart Libronix again. That should do it.