Tuesday, May 29, 2018

How do you organize your books?

Posted by: Angela Korra'ti
I have a history of posting about tech around here! Today, though, I wanted to talk less about tech per se and more about a topic I'm willing to bet is near and dear to the hearts of folks likely to read this blog. Namely, how we all organize our books. Since I read both print and digital, I can talk about both!

Print-wise, my main shelves are easy. I've got the things I've read organized alphabetically on most of the two shelves, with about four shelves' worth of things that I haven't read yet. In theory, the "Not Read Yet" section is also alphabetical. But in actual practice, the bottom couple of shelves can get kind of random, as I have a bunch of books there that are too tall to fit the shelves, so I have to slant them in sideways.

Likewise for several supplementary shelves that hold books too tall to fit the main ones. In general I try to organize those by "Read" or "Not Read" first, and then alphabetically second.

For my ebooks, the question gets trickier. My primary reading device these days is a Kindle Oasis, and I have acres of space on it, enough to contain my entire digital library. Therein lies the problem. I've got a lot of ebooks, and as anybody who has an e-ink device knows, it can get tedious to page through dozens of pages to try to find the book you want to read right now.

So I've been experimenting with the Kindle's Collections feature, trying to figure out the best way to organize my library. Here are some criteria by which I've created Collections!

Digital Magazines: I've got several Collections that contain issues of different digital magazines.

Favorite Authors: Certain favorite authors, specifically ones for whom I have a whole lot of titles, get their own Collections.

Series: Books that all belong to the same long-running series get a Collection, such as "Dresden Files", "Harry Potter", and "In Death".

Same Publisher: Certain publishers will get their own Collections too. I have a "Carina" one, as well as a "Drollerie" one (which has a bunch of titles released by my first publisher, Drollerie Press). In this category, I've also got a "Gutenberg" Collection for titles I've pulled down from Project Gutenberg.

Same General Category: Certain general categories get a collection, like "Classics", "Star Trek", "Star Wars", and "Doctor Who". In this category, I can also add "French" for titles I've got that were either originally published in French, or are translations of things I wanted to read in French as well as in English.

(Important side note re: French, though: I have French and German translations of certain things that also fall into other Collections. I've got French and German translations of Harry Potter titles, for example. Those go into the Harry Potter Collection!)

Read: Self-explanatory. This is the Collection where I stick things I've already read, just to get them out of the general list.

Anna's Current Reads: Also self-explanatory! These are the things I'm working on reading right now, because otherwise I have a hard time finding them. And it's tedious to have to search for a thing that fell off the catousel on the device's homepage.

This has whittled down the length of my book list pretty well. But it's still quite long, so I'm thinking about what refinements I may want to do to this system!

So let me turn it over to you all. How do you organize your books? If you're a Kindle reader in particular, how have you set up your Collections? If you're a Nook or Kobo reader, do you use equivalent features? Tell me about them in the comments!

Angela writes the Free Court of Seattle urban fantasy series as Angela Korra'ti, and the Rebels of Adalonia high fantasy series as Angela Highland! Also, she has a staggeringly ridiculously large library, and is exactly the kind of person for whom the Japanese word tsundoku was coined. Come tell her about the size of your To Read List on Facebook or Twitter or angelahighland.com!

    1 comment:

    1. I just recently discovered the collections option on my Kobo. I buy pb when I can so my ebooks have only just reached the point of getting unwieldy. I went with subgenres: urban fantasy, steampunk, paranormal romance, etc.

      Except for a small TBR pile of 5-10 books, all the fiction is filed alphabetically by author downstairs with the exception of romance and non-fiction which have their own sections. Oh, and I guess the paperbacks are on different shelves than the hardcover, which can sometimes be annoying but is less of a space waster.


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