Would You Change How Collections Work on Kindles?

Kindle Oasis 2

One of the biggest complaints about Kindles and Kindle apps is the lack of organizing options.

It’s a bit strange how ebooks are always segregated into different genres when shopping for them, but after you start buying ebooks they all just get thrown together in one long list on your Kindle or app with no option to sort by genre or much of anything else.

Kindles have had Cloud Collections for several years now to help organize content, but there are some flaws in how the system works.

First off, there is no way to automatically generate collections based on genre or series or anything else; you have to go through and select every book individually to add to a collection.

One of the things that has always annoyed me about Kindle collections is once you add a book to a collection it still appears from the main list.

“Collections” doesn’t seem like the proper term for that. That’s more of a tag system to view a generated list of associated books than being able to group selected titles into a collection like folders on a computer.

Personally I gave up on trying to keep things organized with cloud collections years ago. Now I just use search when trying to find something.

What about you? Do you like how Kindle Cloud Collections work? If not, what changes would you make?

23 Responses to “Would You Change How Collections Work on Kindles?”

  1. Very frustrating…I hate looking for books on my Kindle. One would think that if they can design an e-reader they can design a way to sort books easily…

  2. Gave up on trying to manage series using collections some time ago. I just download everything and the ebook in Calibre. Books in The Wheel of Time would just be “Wheel I: The Eye of the World,” “Wheel II: The Great Hunt,” etc. Then I just load one series onto the Kindle when I need it.

    Seems like it shouldn’t be so hard to develop a better built-in way to sort/tag/collect, but Amazon probably won’t move on it until someone else takes a stab at it.

  3. Collections are frustrating and not worth the time to use. I gave up using them.

    You stated it quite well:
    “One of the things that has always annoyed me about Kindle collections is once you add a book to a collection it still appears from the main list.

    “Collections” doesn’t seem like the proper term for that. That’s more of a tag system to view a generated list of associated books than being able to group selected titles into a collection like folders on a computer.”

  4. From day one Amazon made it plain that collections were tags. In the various forums they’ve always been described that way. I wonder if everyone has forgotten now?

    I’ve never cared about genre. I began reading before genre was a thing. Even now I’m not sure it’s much more than a marketing thing. If I browse Amazon’s Kindle books under a genre and then switch to a different genre I’ll find a lot of the same books. And I don’t mean just a couple in common. More in common than not, as a rule.

    I have 3 collections: Novels, Stories and Misc. That works for me.


    • I’m with Barry. I create collections based on what I want to see such as Short Stories, Articles, WEB Griffin, Read (so I can do a review, then delete the book), etc. When I add a book to a Collection, it no longer shows on my home screen (I use the list view). Not sure what’s so difficult about that. I have Calibre set up to put the Series name and number before the title, so that’s easy, too.

  5. yeah the collections is just annoying esp for ppls with a lot of books. I started on kindle keyboard . bought a lot of books throughout the years and theres 30pages to go thru in list views to find a book.

  6. I use collections daily.

    Because I’m a student, I use collections to organize books and documents by the class they are associated with. Some books are used for more than one class, and collections lets me associate them to more than one. Kindle’s collections will work with any content on the device too from webpages sent using the send to Kindle plugin to sideload PDFs. The Nook Plus 2019’s inability to do that is the reason it went back to BN.

    I have no complaints with Kindle collections. It works great for me, and makes my life a lot easier.

    • I fully agree with Sportbike Mike! I use collections daily and they make my life easier as well!

      Each time I borrow or buy a book, I add it to one or more collections right away. I have collections for general fields like “Fiction,” “History,” “Science,” etc., but then I also have a collection marked “Current Interest” where I put anything I am currently reading. Once I finish a book, it is removed from “Current Interest”.

      I also set my Paperwhite to default to my collections screen when I open it and then can choose either my “Current Interest” or a general field if I’m in the mood for something new that I forgot about.

      I’d be highly disappointed if collections went away or were even assigned automatically.

      • The Nook Plus 2019’s inability to do that is the reason it went back to BN.

        I kept my Glowlight 3, because I paid only $60 due to exchanging it with an Original Nook. Nonetheless, I agree that confining shelves/collections to B&N-purchased books is very dysfunctional. Which is also a reason to not purchase any more B&N books.

        Because I can’t put sideloaded books into Collections/Shelves, I keep no more than 20-30 sidedloaded books on my Glowlight 3.

      • Ooh, I like this current interest idea. I always have several books not related to school open and sometimes they get shuffled out of view and I forget about them for a while. This is a good way to keep them in my line of sight.

  7. Collections never bothered me on my Kindle Fires. If I remember correctly my first Fire bought in 2012 did not even have this option. What bothers me is how hard it is to delete books one has finished reading. It can be done in Manage your Contents and Devices, but this program is so slow and unfriendly. Why do they not have a better way to remove books. Also why not offer more fonts aside from small and large. Strange.

    • I don’t have a Fire, but on a Paperwhite you just press and hold on a title, a menu will appear, and you can choose Remove from Device. As for fonts, the PW allows side-loading of new fonts. Perhaps the Fire will, too?

  8. I find myself in agreement with people here. Collections are a useless feature. I’ve not been much impressed by many new features the read seemed a good idea but in order to fully utilise it it’s manual clicking read and filtering just puts an ugly bar on your screen and takes space.
    Like collections they sit at the front taking up space and offering very little.

  9. Collections is useless. Very difficult to find books. If you own a lot of books it takes forever to try to find and sort. I just don’t do it anymore. This also means that I don’t read as much as I would like anymore either because of the frustration level.

  10. Why can’t books be labeled according to the way they’re described when you purchase them? That would work for me…

  11. Clarification: I meant automatically labeled, so I don’t have to do anything for it to appear listed as ‘cozy mystery’ or ‘biography’ etc.

  12. There already are categories at Amazon. I would like them to use that on the Kindle as well.

    If I want to see “Self Help” books on my Kindle I can filter to that category.

  13. Collections are useless! It would be nice to have something like a Windows Explorer page to organize books, etc.

  14. I only have a handful of collections. I like my collections to only be on ONE page. All books downloaded are put into a collection. I don’t like having uncollected books. 🙂 I only keep downloaded books that are in my Nightstand and To Read collections. All other books are in the cloud.

    – Nightstand: For books I’m currently reading, typically only one or two books.
    – Series: For all books that are part of a series. Some may be in Nightstand or Read Next.
    – Read Next: Books I’d like to read next. Typically I put the next book in a series that I’m reading here. (Some may be in Series, Nonfiction, or To Read.)
    – Nonfiction: All non-fiction books.
    – Cookbooks: These are also in the non-fiction collection.
    – To Read: All fiction books.
    – Finished: All books that I’ve read are moved here from any other collection and removed from my Kindle. I like this collection because if I re-download a book, it is automatically put here, so I find out right away if I’ve read the book before.

    • I might have to adopt those read next and nightstand collections from you. I use my Kindle mostly for school, but I also have quite a few fiction and non-fiction books I read just for personal interest that aren’t in collections. They often get shuffled off the first few pages and I forget about them for a while.

  15. I find it too tedious on the Kindle device because it’s slow. I would like it to sync easier from the website – if they could make it easier to bulk add on the Amazon site and sync over, that would be helpful.

  16. I don’t keep many books on my Kindle because of the tedious manner of navigating within a multi-paged collection. To get to the next page in a book, all you have to do is tap on the lower right corner of the screen. When you are in a collection, and tap on the lower right corner of the screen you get a prompt: “Go to page number_” or “Go to Titles starring with_”

    I would prefer a tap to get to the next page. To get to the next page of a collection, you have to slide.

    That isn’t a bad option with a large collection. However,I would have it the other way: tap to get to the next page, and slide to get to “page#/Title starting with.”

  17. I use collections all the time. The change I want to see would be sub-categories.
    For example:
    Collection: Mysteries
    Sub-collection: J.A. Jance
    Sub-sub-collection: Joanna Brady series