How I Organize My Kindle Library

How I Organize My Kindle Library

The ebook revolution has not only changed how we read but also how we store books. No longer is my ability to store books limited by shelf space. Now, it’s only limited by the amount of memory on my ereader, or as is becoming increasingly the case, the amount space available in the “cloud” somewhere.

I have 315 books on my Kindle. To put this in perspective, I have 371 books on the shelves in my office between my general and reference collections (see: The Secret to Maximizing Shelf Space – Book Triage). So I have the ability to carry on my person, almost as many books are there are in my office (in reality much more than that as I’ve come nowhere near using the maximum space on my Kindle).

Just as with a physical library of this size, a virtual one should also be organized. Here’s what I’ve done.

Kindle Book Collections

Kindle gives you multiple ways to view your books. You can organize them on the device by Most Recent First, Title, Author or Collections. The only one of these I use is Collections. Every time a book is added to the Kindle, you can either add it to an existing collection you’ve created or create a new collection for that book. Every book I add is assigned to a collection. My current collections,  in no particular order, are:

  • Writing
  • Business
  • Blogging
  • Reading Now
  • Bible Commentary
  • Theology
  • Fiction – Mystery
  • Fiction – Other
  • History
  • Reference
  • Read (past tense)
  • Poetry
  • Critical Thinking
  • Christian Living
  • Language Learning
  • Spanish
  • Investing / Finance
  • Health & Fitness
  • Bibles
  • Politics
  • Teaching
  • Borrowed (via the Kindle owner’s lending library)
  • Efficiency & Organization
  • Gardening
  • Art & Music
  • Biography
  • Children
  • Short Stories
  • Devotionals
  • Philosopy
  • Science Fiction
  • Games (playable on the Kindle)

You can name a category anything you’d like so it’s very easy to customize the list for your own reading interests. Initially I often had to add a new category when I added a book, however, over time that has become less necessary. Now it’s rare for me to download a book that doesn’t fit into one of my existing categories.

All but three of my categories are genre types. The three that are not (bolded above) are based on the reading status of the book. Kindle allows you to add a book to multiple categories at once so any time I start a book I add it to my Reading Now category in addition to it’s genre category. When finished, I remove it from Reading Now and add it to Read, leaving it also on the appropriate genre list. This way I can easily scan the books I’m reading or have already finished. Also, any time I use the Kindle Owners Lending Library, I store that book both in a genre category and in my Borrowed category.

One thing to note. Kindle reorders your categories each time you access a book so that the category most recently viewed rises to the top. As of now, there’s no way to change that. Ideally I’d like other options for the categories such as an alphabetical or custom order but that’s not available at the moment.

How do you organize your Kindle books ?

Are there any categories I’ve not thought of that make your library more useful?

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