Question: Manually sideloading onto a Paperwhite
#1  haertig 10-19-2020, 02:08 AM
What is the correct way to sideload a book onto a Paperwhite without using Calibre?

Personally, I use Calibre. I am asking so I can advise a friend who does not use Calibre.

I did some testing on my Paperwhite. First, I reviewed books that were put on the Paperwhite using Calibre. Looking at the directory structure, I see from the root folder there is a documents directory, and under that there are directories of author names. Then under an author name directory there are book name directories that end in ".sdr". Under those .sdr directories are more files. After I finish a book on the Paperwhite I delete it (using the Paperwhite's user interface). I see that those deleted books .sdr directories are totally gone as is the containing author directory. So things are put on, and removed from, the Paperwhite cleanly.

So I tried manually putting a book on the Paperwhite (without Calibre). I simply copy/pasted the .azw3 file from my computer into the "documents" directory on the Paperwhite. I looked at the Paperwhite user interface, and the manually copied book was there and accessible. That's what I expected. Then I looked at the directory structure. The .azw3 file was still there in the documents directory exactly as I had copied it. And the Paperwhite had created a new .sdr directory based on the books name. This newly created .sdr directory was in the documents directory. it was not under a containing author name directory however, so the layout was different from the way Calibre installs books. But from the Paperwhite user interface, the results were the same - the book was accessible.

So I deleted the manually copied book using the Paperwhites interface. This made the .azw3 file I had manually placed in the documents directory disappear (as expected). However, the .sdr directory that the Paperwhite had created for the book was still there. I let it sit for 5 minutes or so, in case there was a delayed cleanup routine that needed to run on the Paperwhite to complete the deletion task. But the .sdr directory remained. Hmmm. So it appears that sideloading in the manner I did it (without Calibre) resulted in an incomplete removal of the book later. I manually deleted the .sdr directory to finish the cleanup myself.

So, did I do the manual sideload (without Calibre) incorrectly? Or maybe did I simply not give the Paperwhite enough time to complete its cleanup after I deleted the book? From the user interface on the Paperwhite everything appeared to work as expected. It seems that the .sdr directories may or may not be contained within an author name directory, and the Paperwhite doesn't care. It's just that when I looked at the directory structure after deleting the book that I found the orphaned .sdr directories left laying around after the delete. That does not seem as it should be.

#2  hius07 10-19-2020, 03:05 AM
Yes, sdr folders are not deleted by the system (it's by design). You'd do it manually or with a program or a script
Under Linux

#3  ilovejedd 10-19-2020, 01:01 PM
The Kindle doesn't really care about directory structure. The .sdr folders will simply be placed in the same folder as the associated book.

For example, if you put a book with filename world.azw3 in /documents/hello, the Kindle will create /documents/hello/world.sdr

Mind, the .sdr doesn't take up a lot of space anyway so probably just easiest to leave it alone.

#4  haertig 10-19-2020, 03:48 PM
Thanks for the info. I will re-look at my Paperwhite and check if some of the sdr directories were indeed deleted automatically as I said they were. I guess I could possibly be wrong about that. I just looked at the quantity of them, balanced that against the quantity of books I thought I had read on my Paperwhite, and come to the conclusion that some of them had been cleared out (although I have never cleared them out manually myself). Possibly Calibre clears these out for you when you delete a book from the device via the Calibre interface?

Or maybe I am just flat out wrong in my earlier statement that some of these sdr directories had been cleaned out. I will look closely the next time I plug the Paperwhite into my computer.

#5  ilovejedd 10-19-2020, 03:55 PM
Quote haertig
Possibly Calibre clears these out for you when you delete a book from the device via the Calibre interface?
Iirc, Calibre does do clean up but deleting books directly from the Kindle interface doesn't.

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