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Old 10-26-2010, 03:25 PM   #1
Vandy
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Post Organizing ebooks on a Kindle 3 WiFi

Hello, all.

I am starting this as a new thread rather than posting in the Big libraries on Kindle 3? thread because I didn't wnat to "hijack" the author's thread and I thought it appropriate to address my comments in a new thread given its non-berevity and details.

So... here goes.

The Kindle’s ability to perform meaningful organization of one’s ebooks or, should I say, lack of ability, tends to be disheartening at best and a catastrophe at worst. Consequently, until Amazon introducing nesting of collections and more robust organization management, I’m forced to create my own organization schema.

Being a somewhat anal person who’s meticulous behavior can range from (yes, I’ll admit it) the ridiculous to the absurd, It is very important to me that I organize my ebooks in a very precise and (at least to me) meaningful manner.

I’ve read through the user guide, “played” around with the Kindle’s native collections as well as have pretty much determined what’s going on “below the covers” concerning the Kindle’s internal folder structure. This knowledge has brought me to the conclusion that if I am going to get even remotely close to the way I want my ebooks organized, I’m going to have to create the structure myself. Oh, I would be quite remiss if I didn’t mention that acolegate’s Kindle Collection Manager for Windows is going to play a very big role in my eventual plan of organizing all of my ebooks.

I believe the above is enough of an introduction and background. Let’s get to the “meat” of the message, shall we?

1. eBook File Names
As a general rule, I name my ebooks using the following syntax:

[TITLE] – [AUTHOR] [(GENRE)].[EXT

For example: 1632 – Eric Flint (Science Fiction).mobi

2. Folder Structure
Again, as a general rule, I create a series of folders named after the various genres and store the appropriate ebook in the appropriate genre folder.

[BEGIN SIDEBAR]
This is probably an appropriate time to have a bit of a sidebar concerning genres.

Does anyone else besides me have trouble categorizing an ebook into an appropriate genre? I’m not referring to those ebooks who’s genre has already been defined. I’m referring to the ebooks that one picks up from here or there and the genre isn’t necessary known or obvious.

I’ve been using a number of different Websites to determine the genre of a book. While my results have been good, this method is extremely time intensive and can get a bit tedious. Does anyone know of a good Website(s) that specifically focuses on book genres and / or has a great search engine to use to fine a given genre for a given book?
[END SIDEBAR]

Ok… So far, so good. Now comes the fun part of copying my ebooks to my Kindle.

I tried a variety of methods – none of which gave me satisfactory results. The lack of nesting folders (collections) is a big drawback when it comes to organization. Somehow, the thought of having hundreds upon hundreds of ebooks sitting “naked” in the same folder ( \Documents ) just makes me shudder!

This is where acolegate’s “Kindle Collection Manager for Windows” is going to play a huge part in my eventual organization. The ability of this application to easily put e-books into collections is PHENOMINAL!! I cannot thank you enough, acolegate, for this excellent applications.

However…

Before I can get there (using KCMW), I’ve got to get my ebook content onto my Kindle.

I realize all one has to do is use the USB cable and connect the Kindle to your computer then copy / move your ebook content into the Kindle\Documents folder. However, for the reason’s stated above, I just cannot bring myself to do that. This is where my genre folder structure comes into play.

I can simple copy over whatever genre folders I wish to the Kindle\Documents folder then use KCMW to put them into an appropriate collection. Viola! You have a wonderfully organized ebook structure that would make even the most meticulous perfectionist satisfied.

Other issues that concern / bother me?

1. What about new content?
Whenever I get new ebooks for a specific genre, I’ll “store” them in their genre folder. What I don’t know is the best way to copy the new content over to the Kindle without either copying over the old content or, “segregating” the new content into a sub-folder in the genre folder then, once it is moved to the Kindle, move it out of the segregated folder and into the genre folder.

If I was to copy over all content in the genre folder AND I already have some ebooks of the genre on the Kindle, am I going to end up with duplicate copies?

I suppose another way to copy over the content is to delete the existing ebooks in the genre folder on the Kindle, copy over the genre folder from my computer to the Kindle and then read the ebooks to the appropriate collection using KCMW.

2. How many ebooks should I keep on the Kindle?
I have well over 3,000 ebooks of various formats (.prc, .mobi, .pdf, .azw, etc.). Is there a “normal” amount of ebooks to keep on your Kindle? It would seem to me (from what I’ve read as well as my own personal opinion) that it is a personal choice. Certainly, memory space on the Kindle isn’t going to be an issue. And, any indexing that needs to be done would be with the Kindle under external power and at a time that I wouldn’t need to use it.

Nonetheless, is it better to keep your entire collection of ebooks on the Kindle or, is it better to move books “back and forth” as your reading demands dictate?


I’m sure there are other issues and ideas that will come up over the course of this threads life, however; I’ve posted quite enough for now. I do look forward to your reading through this thread and am very interested in your own ideas, thought and suggestions.

Have a wonderful day all!

Regards,

Gary (Vandy)
Durham, NC USA

In the end you will see, you is you and me is me…
© May 28, 1980
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Old 10-26-2010, 05:39 PM   #2
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Let's look at this another way:

The Kindle - YOUR Kindle - isn't the Parliamentary Library. It's your "personal study" not a library for others to search.

It doesn't need the Dewey decimal system and it doesn't need a folder for every category known to humankind.

How you organize your Kindle - or any personal filing system - will depend on how you use it.

Categories on my Kindle include:
  1. Career, Govt. (I work for the feds, hence this combination)
  2. Money, Economics (anything about macroeconomics or my own money)
  3. Entertainment, Fiction (some things are entertaining but not fiction)
  4. IM, KM, Open-Data (a personal interest)
  5. Science, Technology, Culture
  6. System, Reference (system dictionaries, Kindle manuals etc)

I was thinking of adding a category or two but the above works for me so far. I frequently add items to multiple collections but I don't keep thousands of items on it at any given time. I have 75 right now.
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:50 PM   #3
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I'm just thankful for what ability to organize the Kindle does have. I had a nook before and it was wretched. The Kindle may not be the best ever but it does the job for me.

Good luck on your scheme though. I'm glad it's working for you.
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Old 10-26-2010, 08:43 PM   #4
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My organization:

Children/YA
Games
SciFi
Mystery/Thrillers
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Old 10-26-2010, 10:25 PM   #5
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Magicmonster:

I just stole most from your list - thanks.
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Old 10-27-2010, 03:56 AM   #6
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I categorise by author if I have multiple books by the same author then by category. and if one category is quite large then a read and unread collection. Basicly i drill down the collection names to the level I need.

I curently have 73 collections on my Kindle. Its quite a big list and will no doubt get bigger but on the whole its managable, and every book is in a collection

I am now up to 927 books on my Kindle
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Old 10-27-2010, 04:04 AM   #7
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I have collections like Crime-Novel-Classic-Cultural-Info-German/French-Travel-Fantasy-Sci.Fi-Literature- New Books- Reading.

When a collection gets to big, I split it up in 4 or more parts: A-F, G-J etc. Except for Reading: about 13 books I'm currently reading.

I've some 30 collections and about 2000 books. ( Yes, I'll read anything not too offensive; moved to Fantasy and Sci.Fi. as well these last few years).
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:57 PM   #8
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My Catagories:

Reading
To Be Read Fantasy
To Be Read Non Fiction
To Be Read Science Fiction
To Be Read Mystery
To Be Read Literature
To Be Read Fiction
Read Fantasy
Read Non Fiction
Read Science Fiction
Read Mystery
Read Literature
Read Fiction
Games (I have been accumulating them)

My reading folder has about 20 books in it. I like having the To Be Read catagories so that I can go and grab a book I want pretty easily. The Read catagories are pretty full but I normally know the title of a book or an author if I am looking to re-read something.

If we had sub folders I would end up creating series specific folders in my Read file.

ETA: I have something like 400 books on my Kindle. You are probably going to have to make some decisions about books that you keep on your Kindle. The K3 and DX can hold 3,500 books if they are the standard size. I have some books that are the complete collection of a specific author so they are quite a bit larger then the standard book. If I were you, I would keep the books that you think you are most likely to re-read on your Kindle.

I have about 50 books that I did not put on my DXG because I know I am not likely to re-read them.

Last edited by ProfCrash; 10-27-2010 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 10-27-2010, 03:34 PM   #9
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My solution is to rely on Calibre for organization utilizing tags as genres and allow my books to fall into multiple genres as appropriate and to have a bit more detail.

On my Kindle, I typically only have about 50 books (not sure why I even have that many), and I typically sort them into Non-Fiction, General Fiction, Classics, Short Stories, and Reading. Once a book is read, it is removed off the device, and I typically never read more than couple of items at once (e.g. a novel, a short story anthology, and perhaps something non-fiction).

The Calibre database, though, ends up drilling down to Historical Fiction, YA, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, etc. with the tags. Calibre gives me the flexibility to organize everything I own while using only 50+/- on the Kindle lets me keep it basic. With Calibre, I don't worry about the files or folders as the Metadata is flexible and gives me multiple means of finding books, authors, tags, etc.

This isn't to say its perfect, but as mentioned, the Kindle will not work well until we can nest collections and do a bit more in terms of organization.

The added benefit with the Calibre set up is that my wife can manage her Kindle and draw from the same collection of books much like we do with our physical bookshelves in our home office.
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Old 10-27-2010, 04:17 PM   #10
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I have never used Calibre to organize my books. When I had the K1, I kept about four pages worth of books on it and knew I could add something if needed. With collections, I keep pretty much all of my books on my DXG and know where to go looking for them. I find that collections is easy enough to work with and does what I need it to do.

Subfolders would be great, then I could simply sort by genre and then break the collection into read and to be read and the like.
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Old 10-27-2010, 05:37 PM   #11
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I'm still waiting for my K3. I took all my ebooks in .txt .rtf .htm and .ePub formats and loaded them into Calibre. I cleaned up the metadata and converted to .mobi (some unfortunately seem to have wide left margins or "?" in place of quotation marks) and created genre tags. I exported the .mobi books with a give tag to a folder named after the tag. I intend to USB these folders to the K3 one by one so the indexing is not too intensive. Each folder has 20 to 70 mobi in it. Once these are on the K3 I intend to use the Kindle Collection Manager to "create collection from folder". I have individual works in genre folders and multiple books by given authors in author folders. I intend to add individual new books to thes folders by USB and add them to the K3 collections using the K3 UI.

My genres are:
Biography, Classics, Contemporary Fiction, Detective, Fantasy, Memoir, Non-fiction, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, Urban Fantasy.

Then I have Anthologies & Collections for each genre and foldersfor short stories of each genre.

Hopefully this will work.
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Old 10-27-2010, 06:38 PM   #12
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What I don't like about current collections - is the fact that they are created and maintained on particular Kindle device, not is the cloud, and that if you add a book to a collection, it is still visible in the general list of all books on your device. To copy collection from one device to another you have to copy first all individual books, and only after that copy your collection - not good at all.

In my opinion, collections should be maintained globally in the Kindle store. You create collection once - and it is available on any of your Kindle devices or through your "Kindle for PC". If your book is included in one (or several) of your collections - you don't need it in the globabl list of your "un-collected" books. Creates unnecessary clutter! Apart for "Archived books", you should have an option to open additional list of "All Downloaded books" for this device, that would be quite enough. If you want to copy one of your collections to any particular device - you can choose if you want to download only the list of books in this collection when you do it, or if you want to download the whole caboodle, including all the books. When you try to access one of the books in your collection which is not yet downloaded - you initiate downloading process, same way as you access any of the Archived books.
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Old 10-27-2010, 06:58 PM   #13
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Sorry... sort of unrelated question... is there a way to order your collection list on the Home screen? I want my collections to stay in the same order.

Last edited by LucentBeam; 10-27-2010 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 10-27-2010, 07:33 PM   #14
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I also have lots (1000+) of books but have only about 100 on the Kindle. My all time favorites and some that I want to read in the future.

FF2 -Sorry about stealing your list.
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Old 10-27-2010, 08:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LucentBeam View Post
Sorry... sort of unrelated question... is there a way to order your collection list on the Home screen? I want my collections to stay in the same order.
The only way that I have found to keep your collections sorted first is to start the collection name with a symbol. I use a period and a space, the the collection folder name. Then when you sort alphabetically, the collections will appear first

Most of my collections are authors, so I also create a book via Calibre, listing the series metadata so that I can read the books in sequence.

cheers
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