Sunday, November 03, 2013

Organizing my Kindle

I love books.  As the child of two retired school librarians, this probably isn't surprising.  I grew up in a house with wall-to-wall bookshelves in the living room, and had gathered a fair collection of my own already by the time I left home to be an English major in college.  I was the kid who stayed up till all hours with my flashlight, reading under the covers (often something terrifying that would keep me up even longer, quaking in fear while wondering what lurked under the bed in my basement bedroom). 

After finishing my Bachelor's degree and again after finishing my Master's, I took a break from reading, and watched a lot of television.  But I was always drawn back to my books.  When my daughter was born, I just couldn't find the time, because really the only opportunity I had to read was in bed at night, and I couldn't have the light on because my hubby was trying to sleep.  And then, I discovered the Kindle.

And then, I discovered the wonderful world of free Kindle books.  And Swagbucks, where I earned points to redeem for Amazon gift cards which I used to buy more Kindle books.  And book loans through the library and through

Before I knew it, I had more than 2,800 books and short stories in my e-book collection.  This was when I discovered that the "Manage Your Kindle" feature on Amazon's website doesn't actually give you any effective ways to manage your book collection.  So I needed to find a way to organize it all, so I could actually figure out what I have, what I've read, and what I want to read next. 

First, I thought I would just load everything onto the device and organize it all into collections.  I spent days setting it up.  Then I discovered that once the remaining memory gets below about 700 MB, it gets incredibly slow and starts randomly restarting itself at inopportune moments.  And when you have more than 2,500 books to load, well, that pretty much guarantees that your reading session is over. 

So, now that I have everything loaded except things I have already read, I am actually working on taking everything OFF in an organized fashion.  I set up a spreadsheet with a different tab for each collection on the Kindle.  One by one, I'm going through the collections, typing the titles into the spreadsheet, deleting the book from the collection, then deleting it from the device. 

This way, when I want to read a book, I can say "hmm, I'm in the mood for a historical romance" and then go to that tab on the spreadsheet, instead of going to the massive list of books on the website and trying to figure it out from there.

It's slow going, but I know in the long run it will be worth it and my Kindle will run much more efficiently.

Do you have an organizational system for your e-reader? I'd love to hear about it!

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