Once you’ve downloaded a few dozen books to your Kindle, it becomes difficult to keep everything organized. Sorting through hundreds of titles to find what you’re looking for is no fun, which is why organizing your Kindle books is important.
By deleting, filtering, sorting, and using Collections, you can make it much easier to find the book you’re looking for. Here’s how to organize your Amazon Kindle through several simple steps.
1. Remove Kindle Books You Don’t Want
If you feel overwhelmed when you look at your Kindle, there’s a good chance that you need to get rid of some books. Your digital bookshelf can become packed over time thanks to books you’ve acquired through the many available Kindle services. Since your digital books are stored in your Amazon account, you can always get them back after removing them.
On the home screen, tap the Library tab at the bottom to see a list of your books. To make them easier to parse through, tap the three-line Sort button at the top-right, then choose List or Grid depending on your preference. You can also view your books by Collections (if you’ve set any up).
Once you’ve done this, you can sort by Most Recent and Ascending to show the oldest books you have, which are likely low-hanging fruit for removal. To filter your books, tap the Settings icon on the left. This makes it easy to show only books that are Read, find old Samples, clear out Prime Reading books you don’t want, and similar.
After applying any filters and sorting, scroll through the list until you find a book you want to remove. Press and hold on the book, or tap the three-dot button next to it, to open its options.
From there, hit Remove download to take the book out of the library on your Kindle. This removes it from your device, but you can restore the book later.
Do not select Permanently delete unless you want to erase the book from your account entirely. If you do this, you’ll need to buy the book again to access it.
Hiding and Recovering Removed Books
Even after you remove books from your Kindle, they’ll still show up when you browse your library. To hide them, open the Filters button and choose Downloaded. This will only show books that are on your device, making your library much easier to manage.
To download a book again in the future, remove this filter to show the book again, then tap a title to download it.
2. Sort Your Kindle Books Wisely
Once you’ve deleted a few books, it’s time to organize the rest of your Kindle library. As we discussed above, the Kindle platform provides some sorting options that make this a lot easier.
For ease of use, we recommend using List view. Tap Sort (three lines) at the top-right of the library and select List under View options. This will show your books and their authors in text form with a smaller cover, making it easier to identify them.
Also on the Sort menu, you should choose a method to sort the books in your library. Most recent will show you books in the order that you last opened them. It’s convenient since it puts the book that you were last reading at the top of the list. But if you tend to go back to flip through other titles or look at highlights, the order will get messed up.
Title, Author, and Publication date are self-explanatory. The first two alphabetize by the chosen criteria, while the latter sorts by date. For any of these, you can choose Ascending or Descending as you desire.
The Collection viewing option is different. Below, we discuss how to put your books into Collections, the Kindle equivalent of folders. This view in your library lets you browse by collection, letting you jump into only certain types of books that you’ve set up.
In the Grid and List viewing options, when you sort by Title, Author, Publication date, or Most recent, any book that’s in a Collection will still show up in the main library list. No matter how many Collections you have, those sorting methods will always show you every book on your Kindle.
Sorting by Collections, however, is different. In addition to your Collections, any books you have that aren’t part of a Collection show up in an Uncollected list. If you decide to use Collections to organize your books, which is worth the time spent, this is definitely the best view for Kindle organization.
3. Filter By Status, Type, and Programs
In your Library, you’ll also see a Filter button at the top-left. This allows you to show only certain types of content to further organize your Kindle.
The list here lets you pick from the various document types: Books, Samples, Documents, Newsstand, Audible, and Comics. If you weren’t aware, Documents includes Your Clippings, a list of all annotations you’ve made on your Kindle. Newsstand holds magazines, newspapers, and similar.
You probably won’t need to use most of these, unless you have many different kinds of media on your Kindle. They can be helpful if you’re looking for a few comics you downloaded years ago, or to hide anything that’s not a book.
After selecting one of these categories, you can use the Read and Unread filters to find books that you haven’t finished yet, while Downloaded is useful for hiding books you’re finished with as mentioned above. And if you’re a Prime member, the Prime Reading section will show all the books you’ve downloaded through the Prime Reading program.
When you have Filter options applied inside a Collection, the counts in the menu show only for titles in that Collection. This makes it easy to see, for example, how many unread books you have in your Favorites Collection.
4. Take Advantage of Kindle Collections (Folders)
One of the best ways to keep your Kindle from getting overrun by books is to use Collections, which are like folders and tags for your Kindle. Keeping your books organized in Collections makes it a lot easier to find what you’re looking for.
You should first make a new Collection if you don’t have any. To do this, tap the three-dot icon in the top-right corner of the Library tab (under the clock) to open the menu, then select Create a Collection at the bottom.
Type in a name for the Collection. You might make Collections to hold the books you want to read next, titles by your favorite author, a certain genre, or some other criteria. Tap OK after entering a name to create it.
After you create your Collection, your Kindle will prompt you to add books to it. Check the boxes next to the books you want; don’t worry about getting everything now, as you can add or remove books anytime. Use the same Sort and Filter menus available in your library to change the ordering, then hit Save at the bottom when you’re finished.
To add individual books to a Collection later, tap and hold on the book or hit the three-dot button by it, then select Add to/remove from Collection. Tap the box next to the Collection you’d like to add the book to (choosing multiple if needed) and hit Save when you’re finished. Since you can add one book to as many different Collections as you’d like, they can also function like tags.
To get back to the multi-selection tool later, open the Collection from your library and tap the Plus/Minus (+/-) button at the top-right.
Collections have more options you can access by long-pressing or tapping the three-dot button on one. Choose Add or remove items to manage it. You can also Rename the Collection, delete it, or mark it as a favorite for further organization. Notably, the Download all items and Remove all downloads options make it easy to hide old titles from your library, or redownload many titles before a trip.
Repeat the above steps to create as many Collections as you’d like. How you organize your Kindle library using them is up to you. Maybe you categorize books by whether you’d like to read them again, if you want to share the book with another Kindle user, or similar.
5. Search Your Kindle Library
Even when your Kindle is highly organized, there are times when you want to jump directly to what you’re looking for. In these cases, it’s faster to use the search bar at the top of your Kindle’s screen. Just start typing the book’s title or author, and you’ll see an instant list of results.
Items that show with a book icon are on your Kindle, while search terms with a shopping cart next to them will search the Kindle store for you. You can also select the Search everywhere option at the bottom to see results from your library, the Kindle store, the Audible store, Goodreads, and other places.
6. Utilize Reading Lists
Another handy organizational tool of your Kindle is the Reading Lists feature. While this won’t help you find a book that you bought years ago and forgot about, it’s a good way to keep track of the books you want to read next. On the Home tab (not the Library tab), tap the three-dot button at the top-right and choose Your Reading Lists to access it.
As Amazon owns Goodreads, you’ll see both your Goodreads Want to Read list and Kindle books from your Amazon wish lists here. This page also shows any samples that you’ve downloaded to your device. You can remove samples from your library and remove books from your wish lists here. Long-press to open the item’s menu.
7. Change Organization Preferences in Kindle Settings
While not extensive, the Settings menu on your Kindle lets you make a few changes to the home screen layout. Tap Settings in the three-dot menu at the top-right of the home screen, or tap the arrow at the top of the screen to open the quick menu and choose All Settings.
From there, go to Device Options > Advanced Options and select Home & Library.
Here, disable Group Series in Library if you prefer to have books in a series listed as separate entries. Under Collections, you can choose from three options for how Collections show in your library:
- Show only in Collections view: Collections won’t appear elsewhere in your library.
- Show favorites in Library: Only Collections you’ve starred will show in other library views.
- Show all in Library: Your collections will all show up in your library.
The other option is Audible Content. This lets you choose between two options for displaying audiobooks on your Kindle. Show in Library and on Home will show audiobooks everywhere, just like regular books.
Change this to Show in Library Filter Only to hide them from view unless you select the Audible filter in your library, as mentioned above. They’ll also show normally if you download an audiobook to your Kindle. This can help reduce clutter if you own a lot of audiobooks.
Note that switching to this option won’t remove any audiobooks currently on your Kindle.
8. Consider Managing Kindle Books Using the Web
These tips are all usable right from your Kindle and let you manage your library without any other devices. However, if you have hundreds of books, you might find it tedious to perform these steps on your Kindle itself since the screen isn’t optimized for lots of quick tapping.
Thankfully, you can log into your Amazon account to manage your Kindle library from the web. There, you can easily create new Collections and move books into or out of them. These changes will sync to your Kindle, saving you time and hassle. Head to the Digital Content page under Manage Your Content and Devices on Amazon to use this tool.
Here you can use the checkboxes to perform actions like removing, adding to collections, and more en masse. To go even further, try organizing your Kindle library using Calibre.
Keep Your Kindle Books Organized
Organizing your Kindle isn’t always easy, but it’s a worthwhile endeavor. Don’t let hundreds of books pile up on your device. With sorting, filtering, and Collections, you can turn an overwhelming library into a well-curated and easily searchable one.
Keeping your library tidy is only part of mastering your Kindle. There are many other tips that make the overall reading experience better, too.