Digital book

How (and why) to clean up your digital book clutter in the spring

With a new year on the horizon, it’s time to clean up your digital book clutter. Why? Because it will make your (digital reading) life so much easier. I promise.

The first time you start tidying up your digital book space, you’ll feel like it’s a never-ending effort. But there is an end in sight. And after doing it once, if you follow the organizational methods that you put in place, it will stay tidy forever.

Organize your Kindle Cloud

I needed years to discover the possibility of organizing my Kindle cloud. And it’s so easy. Simply log into your Amazon account, navigate to “Account & Lists” and click “Content & Devices”. This is where everything you downloaded on your Kindle, from PDFs to your ex’s love manifesto, and everything you bought on Kindle lives on. And my boy, is it getting complicated. But you can delete items and create lists to better organize your cloud!

Remove digital book clutter from the cloud

It’s so easy to delete unwanted books from your reading device, which is handy if you only read on one device, but did you know that you can also delete them completely from the cloud?

When you’re in your Amazon Content & Devices section, click the ellipses to the left of a title and select Remove. Pouf. Gone forever. That means forever, so be careful when deleting anything you bought. Find a full guide to the trick here.

Organize Kindle Collections

If you’re like me, you request lots of digital copies of books ahead of time and download tons of free and cheap eBooks. Your Kindle cloud is overflowing and it’s impossible to find anything unless you go there with a mission. Enter: Collections! It’s like Goodreads shelves, only better because these lists are private, so no one can shame you for the amount of eBook deals you’ve splurged on. They are the perfect way to blur the clutter of your digital books.

I have collections for the year of publication (2020, 2021 and backlist) and genre (fiction, memoir, romance, true crime, etc.), as well as collections for books I bought or books which I picked up for free on days like World Book Day. These collections help me control what I have on my Kindle and what I really want to read. The lists also remind me if I paid money for an ebook or not, so that I don’t permanently delete something that wasn’t free.

I also have collections for read and unread books, as I find it easier to navigate than the built-in “mark as read” function. But it’s just me. The options are endless!

Organize your Goodreads shelves

I take my organization from Goodreads department very seriously. I wrote a comprehensive guide with ways to store your books on Goodreads a few years ago, so I’m going to highlight a few options here. And don’t forget to take a look at these Goodreads hacks to really amplify your usage.

Connect your entire library

Yes all. Scan your physical shelves and make sure everything is accounted for on Goodreads. Then do the same for everything you just organized on your Kindle cloud. I’ll wait.

Make shelves for what you own

It’s a personal preference, but I like to have on shelves what books I own and in what format (clean-print, clean-ebook, clean-audio). This is useful when my partner says he wants to count the number of books I own and decides to round up to 3,000, which is just plain wrong. It’s 384, more or less, thank you very much.

I do the same with the books on my to-read list (tbr-own, tbr-digital, tbr-audio) so that I can cry about the difference between own-print and tbr-own. It’s a big percentage. I do not say.

It also comes in handy when I’m shopping so that I don’t buy duplicate books that I forgot to own.

Organize your TBR

If your reading list is overflowing, take the opportunity to put things back in order. Follow this wonderful guide on how to weed your digital TBR by asking yourself questions like “why do I even have this book?” “Or” where does it come from? To help you decide if this should really be a part of your life.

If digital shelves aren’t your thing, be sure to check out our guide to spring cleaning your real shelves. And treat yourself to a happy little storage session.