How do you manage your digital shelves?

October 26, 2015 Challenge, Discussion 42

Just like organising bookshelves, there are one hundred and one ways you can organise your eReader. Some people have it very set, with categories and subcategories in alphabetical order. Others don’t bother organising it at all!


People who can live with that type of chaos in their life terrify me.

Organising an eReader is a lot more limited than bookshelf. With physical books you have free reign to put them wherever you want however you want. Some of the best organisational structures I’ve seen on physical shelves are rainbow order! Rainbow shelves make for some pretty pictures but my heart clenches at the thought of splitting up all the series and authors! My bookshelves are organised by size due to necessity. I have too many books for the shelf.


eReaders aren’t limited by shelf space. Thousands of books in a number of formats can fit on one tiny device. But you can’t get with creative with the display of the shelves beyond selecting if it appears as a file name or the cover is shown. And even then some eReaders only have black and white screens, no colour. Depending on your device you can create a different number of shelves and collections which help further organise and sort books, but not all work quite like that.

My eReader is a kindle paperwhite. Currently I have about four or five collections and a couple of hundred books on there. I display the titles instead of covers of books because it looks better (not all the eARCs and things on there have pretty covers that look good in black and white :'( ). For ebooks I own I have three collections: Read, To Read, and To Reread. I also have specific collections for Netgalley, Edelweiss, and Review to keep track of all the review copies I need to stop ignoring. It is all listed as most recent and/or title order.

I also have some books on my iPad that I’ve bought but have yet to read. Here I do the horrible scary thing and leave unorganised because there aren’t that many books on there and I don’t have time.


My dad has a kindle touch and organises things a little differently. He doesn’t receive review copies like I do and reads purely for leisure, so he doesn’t need to keep track of review books. To keep track of what he has and hasn’t read and what he wants to read he has a list of titles in a diary, organised by author last name. On the actual kindle each author has their own collection. Not being able to keep series and authors together is the main thing I don’t like about my own organisational system. Why can’t there be sub-categories/collections?!

Do you have an eReader?

How do you organise your Ebooks?

Just a quick note to say that this discussion post is my October post for the TBR/Buying Ban challenge I’m participating in and kind of doing horribly at. Uni has meant I’m barely making any progress in books and I may or may not have just broken my buying ban to preorder ILLUMINAE (but there was the possibility of winning a year’s worth of book vouchers, how was I supposed to resist?)


42 Responses to “How do you manage your digital shelves?”

  1. Cait @ Paper Fury

    Ahhh, I DON’T organise my e-reader. I KNOW. SHAME. But I literally only have like 5 or 6 books on there. as soon as I’ve read a book, I delete it (well, it’s on my cloud if I want it back, but I probably never will because I don’t reread :P) so YEAH. I feel like if I got seriously about reading egalleys I’d figure out a better system. ;) But for now. I AM AN UNORGANISED FISH.
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…Madame Tussaud’s Apprentice // OFF WITH YOUR HEAD! And Other Wonderful French Things

    • Bec

      It’s not so bad with so little books on there haha. And you’d read them so quickly too! I literally have hundreds of books on there that if I didn’t keep organise I’d drown

  2. Rachel Lightwood @ Isytria

    I am a pretty organised person. I like lists. I like plans… but I don’t organised by eReaders. I know, I know, how do I even cope? Honestly, with my Kindle, it is just way, way too much work to even try. I don’t even know if it is possible with my specific Kindle. And the iPad. Well, same thing, and I don’t have as many on it so there doesn’t seem to be a point really.
    Rachel Lightwood @ Isytria recently posted…{Blog Tour ~ Bieke Reviews} The Libby Garrett Intervention by Kelly Oram

    • Bec

      It can reach a point where there’s just too much there’s no point even trying haha. My bookshelves are like that at the moment haha. Organising can take time so unless you have a system from the get go it can be hard.

  3. czai

    I have a ‘Read’ and ‘To Read’ shelf on my kindle app. No Rereads shelf basically because I barely reread. I’m a lazy kid. and I also have a ‘To-Review’ shelf reserved for review copies. Oddly enough I used to have a shelf for my monthly ebook haul but I stopped just because there doesn’t seem to be any point on doing it, hahaha.
    czai recently posted…[WEEKLY MUSING] Setting Your TBR List

    • Bec

      I’ve reread books on my kindle once or twice. They were 5 star reads that I just was in the mood for and couldn’t say no. I also save books I haven’t had the chance to buy a physical copy of yet in that folder just in case I want to reread before getting the sequel.

      Monthly haul is an interesting way to set it up! I haven’t heard of that before but I can see why you stopped.

  4. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    I only have e-reader apps on my mobile and neither one offers the option to organize my books. Eeep! That’s probably one of the reasons why I don’t do well with digital copies. I have to say that IF I WAS able to organize things up, I TOTALLY WOULD. I’m a big lover of organizing things and considering how much I love books, I could see myself wasting valuable reading time setting them up just so XD I like the sound of how you have yours organized^^ if ever I get that option, I’ll take your lead for sure :)

    Oh and sorry to hear that Uni has been taking over your life and not letting you participate in your challenge as much. I don’t blame you one bit for buying Illuminae though ;) A YEAR’S WORTH OF BOOK VOUCHERS. HELLO! Good luck ♥
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Review: The Alloy of Law

    • Bec

      Nooo! That must be so annoying, not being able to organise anything. But setting it up does take a lot of time.

      Thank you! Uni is finally over and I’m enjoying all the reading time :)

    • Bec

      You can! Not to the level that I’d like but you can put book into descriptions and organise by title/author/recent.

      I am the same with my kindle. I need to start reading some of the Netgalley books I still haven’t touched even though it’s been three years…

    • Bec


      Yeah if you don’t keep on top of it it does get hectic. I try and organise as soon as I add a book to my kindle/ as soon as I finish reading it.

      OH MY GOD YES! I wish I could colour code my kindle collections and things and see book covers as they are meant to be seen. Colour coding is my favourite part of organisation haha

  5. ShootingStarsMag

    I have a kindle paperwhite too. I wish it had color; that would be awesome. But yeah, I don’t organize my books. haha I don’t have that many on there though so that’s my excuse! It’s fairly easy to find what I need. I should look into organizing them a bit better though – at least with Already Read and To Read sections.
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Flawd by Emily-Anne Rigal, Founder of We Stop Hate

    • Bec

      Colour would make it amazing, even if it was just for the covers and highlighting. All the colour coding we could do *_*

      Haha when you have hundreds of books on there it’s hard to find what you need. I’d forget what has been read and needed to be read.

    • Bec

      Setting it all up for the first time takes a while but it’s pretty easy to maintain afterwards! And really handy to keep track of things.

      No worries :D

  6. Pui-man

    I have to be honest, I didn’t know you could organize books on an e-reader! Thanks to your post, I now know that it’s possible! Now I just have to figure out how to do it on my Kindle…

    • Bec

      The more you know! It’d be different with every e-reader but I do wish we had more organisation options.

      Have fun organising!

    • Bec

      Haha compared to what I used to spend on books, I’m doing amazing haha

      It is in a sense! Because they’re just words on a screen it’s a lot easier to miss some or lose track when organising them. At least physical books are a bit harder to miss.

  7. Joy // Joyousreads

    You know what I love about my digital shelves? They’re out of sight, out of mind. Lol. Honestly? I don’t even have that much books in my Kindle, so it’s not something I take the time to organize. I do wish that I can create other shelves and lock them because smut. Lol.
    Joy // Joyousreads recently posted…Hoarders, Books Edition: Episode 165

    • Bec

      They small amount of space they take up is great!

      Haha password protected collections would be a great idea for people who share a kindle. Not that there’s any shame in reading what you want, some eyes just aren’t ready for certain things yet XD

  8. Anissa

    Unfortunately I’m one of those lunatics that doesn’t organise their eReader – and I really have no excuse, I’m a lazy little slug haha. Luckily I don’t have loads of books in my eReader at the moment, so it’s not total chaos but I definitely need to sort it out soon hehe. My life is in shambles. At least my shelves are semi organised ;D
    Anissa recently posted…Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

    • Bec

      There seems to be a lot of you! Haha laziness influences all of us. I haven’t organised my physical shelves in a while because of that very reason.

      It’s always good to have physical shelves organised and gorgeous for every day viewing ;)

    • Bec

      So many apps! Tags would be useful in addition to collections on a kindle omg. Like you could tag genres or authors but still have major things in collections. They need to do this.

  9. Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    I would be that person that causes you to start twitching ;) I have absolutely no organization on mine whatsoever. The closest I come is doing the “remove from carousel” thing on my Kindle Fire after I finish reviewing the book. And that’s just because the non-covers bug me. I feel like if there were better options, I would be more inclined to organize better. I tried to make a list at one point (to separate review books from random books and such) but it didn’t work out the way I wanted it to, and it was time consuming, so I just kiboshed the whole thing. Until there’s a better way, I probably can’t be bothered ;)
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted…The Conclusion of Ivy

    • Bec

      There is more of you than I realised! Starting to think I’m in the minority XD

      Non covers are so annoying omg. It’s why I organise my kindle by title and not cover because at least that way I just have to look at text on the screen.

      Haha it takes a lot of effort to get it organised in the first place.

  10. Emma @ BooksandBoardies

    All I can say is thank the book gods for this post – I did not know there was an organisational option on Kindle!! Yes I know, I know I am an awful reader, but I genuinely did know that it existed.
    Now I do I will be spending some of my day off today plotting the best system for use and implementing it quickly!
    Thankyou for sharing this post, if I could send all the cakes in the world your way I definitely would (or you know delights of your choice if for some reason you don’t like cake!)
    Emma @ BooksandBoardies recently posted…The Silent Ones – Ali Knight

    • Bec

      You’re welcome for this information! It’s not great, but collections are better than nothing. I’m pretty sure I only knew about it through reading the manual or something when it updated once XD

      I hope you find an organisational system that works for you!

  11. Alise

    I use my ipad for all my ebooks and have never heard of the word organization when it comes to them >:D Strangely enough, I’ve got it so my owned books are in iBooks and my review copies are in the kindle app, it just worked out that way. But yeah, I didn’t know you could even make collections in kindle.

    • Bec


      Yeah mine’s about the same, but with the added reread collection. I really need to learn to utilise my kindle more.

    • Bec

      I just realised I’m going to have to figure out how I want to start organising ebooks on my ipad if I start borrowing them from the library >_< Having multiple apps makes it easier but also more challenging.

  12. Carrie

    I didn’t know there was a way to organize your ebooks on Kindle. I don’t know how that works for Kindle Fire, so I will have to play around with it for a while to see if I can organize my books. It will make my life so much easier if I can figure this out.
    Carrie recently posted…I Hate Myselfie by Shane Dawson

    • Bec

      Haha such discoveries are the reasons why I read manuals. If I hadn’t I doubt I would have know this either. You could probably google a tutorial instructions or something for Kindle Fire. It does make life a lot easier

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge