Organized Living

How to Organize an eBook Library

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Don't let eBooks clutter up your hard drive. Here's how to organize a digital library that keeps the best resources at your fingertips! #digitallibrary #ebookorganization #organizingebooks #organizingtips

Whether or not you own an eReading device, you probably have a few downloadable eBook files on your computer right now.

These value-packed PDF’s are offered either as an incentive to sign up for our favorite bloggers’ email lists, or sold directly from their website. There are even various eBook bundle sales available that include a handful, or motherload, of eBooks for one low price.

Needless to say, with so many opportunities to receive and purchase eBooks, I’ve collected a lot over the last few years. Yet while these PDF’s continue to pile up on my computer, they become digital clutter that is almost as bad as the physical kind. And isn’t the whole point of eBooks the fact that they supposedly take up less space?

One look at my desktop and I realized I had eBooks on my hard drive, flash drive, and various folders here and there. They were quickly getting out of control, but I didn’t want to delete all of them. There were still so many I wanted, and needed, to read!

How to Organize an eBook Library | Creative Savings

Well, I finally sat down this past week and decided this craziness had to stop. These eBooks needed organizing badly, and I was ready to stop procrastinating. When I realized how easy it was, I could have kicked myself for waiting so long!

If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed by the amount of eBooks you currently have, there is hope! Here’s exactly how to keep those files from taking over your hard drive:

3 Steps to Organize an eBook Library

1. On your desktop, right click to create a new folder, and then rename it “eBooks”. Psst…the cute desktop organizer below is from Moritz Fine Designs. You need to get yourself one stat!

How to Organize an eBook Library | Creative Savings

2. Within that folder, create categories (as subfolders) relevant to all the eBook topics you own. You will probably add more categories the deeper you sort. I started out with 6, but ended with 19….it really depends on how specific you want each category to be.

How to Organize an eBook Library | Creative Savings

3. Drag and drop files into the appropriate folders. As you move each file into the correct category, it will leave a copy in your original location. Check your new file folder first to make sure the eBook carried over, then delete the other copy. Computers can be wonky sometimes and you would hate to lose that book!

How to Organize an eBook Library | Creative Savings

3 Bonus Tips to Remember

Organizing is one thing, but decluttering and developing a system that you can maintain is another. Here are a few extra steps to practice while you rearrange your new library!

  • Clear out the eBooks you aren’t interested in anymore. Move them to the trash (it’s OK to delete!), or send along to a friend and get rid of your copy. The same goes for duplicate eBooks, which if you’ve bought a few eBook bundles, you probably have a few already.
  • Keep out one or two eBooks that you really want to read. If you’re anything like me, I have such good intentions of reading eBooks, but out of sight – out of mind!  Now I have at least 2 ebooks sitting on my desktop to remind me to read them. When I’m finished, I’ll either delete, or file them, then pull out another two to read.
  • Rename the files of the eBooks you’ve already read. For the eBooks that you have read and want to keep as a reference, click to rename the file, but put –READ at the end, so you know you’ve already read that book.


How to Organize an eBook Library | Creative Savings

I would strongly encourage you to back up this eBook folder right away, then again every 6 months as you add new eBooks to your library. An external hard drive works best, but a decently sized flash drive will do as well. You don’t want your computer to crash and then you lose access to all those precious eBooks!

Are you inspired to dig in and start organizing? I know it was such a relief to me to finally have this project finished. It had been on the back of my mind for months, and I can’t believe how much I let it get away from me.

Now I have a wonderful eBook library full of amazing resources at my fingertips, and I can’t wait to start reading some of those eBooks that were {until now} completely buried in my digital archives. I might just be ready for a few more!

Do you read eBooks?

How do you keep them organized?

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.

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  1. Thanks for the idea and the motivation!! I just finished this after reading your post and I love it. I have my desktop back in decent order and I discovered books (and forms saved from the web) that I had forgotten all about. YAY!

  2. You might also check out Calibre. It’s a pretty awesome ebook library program (free, too) and you can tag and add notes.

  3. I like they way you put this ebooks of yours in order. I have 10 Gb for novels only, then I have other types of ebooks and I still fight with my organizing system for them.

    Your post just validate my basic way of doing it, so thank you 🙂

  4. I am still working on figuring out how to completely use “Calibre” to organize my ebooks and my digital magazines and my free digital ebooks magazine based ebooks I get sent to me a few times a week. Plus I like collecting free ebooks from as well as other sites. I even use survey sites and sometimes I get free digital magazines as a thank you for the survey. My library keeps growing and growing. I have been wanting to separate my ebooks and magazines in different folders and then give each a few sub-folders but every time I get around to it I keep putting it off. Well I think I will set it all up today and also try and rename my files so they no longer look so weird. I hope that calibre can really help me with this.

  5. this is an amazing way but i wonder if you use category to organize it raise 2 questions in my chaotic mind 1 what if a book has 2 genere’s or categories ? and question 2 what if you read a series and for some reason the books would not all have the same category? please need these answers asap my ebooks library is a real mess right now 🙁

    1. Hi Aria! I would add the eBook to the category where you are most likely to look for it. Also, if you are organizing on your Kindle, sometimes they allow you put the book into two categories. So that could be helpful! I’ve also never encountered a series where the books fell into different categories. They usually stay in the same genre. But let me know if you find one that doesn’t and we can brainstorm together!

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