ebook spring cleaningI am about to start my March break, and every year, I spend some time over the holiday cleaning up my eBook library. I know that theoretically, Calibre can hold an indefinite number of books and that I need not worry too much about how many I hoard. But I find that it’s easier to find the books I want to read when I keep my library lean and limber. I don’t like having a huge accumulation of books to wade through which don’t interest me, and when I peruse my unread titles in search of my next great book, I’d like to see a list of titles which all seem exciting.

In previous years, my targets have varied. One year, I cleaned out series books for which the set I had was not completable due to selected titles not being available for purchase. Another year, I moved all the Dell Magazines back issues I had from Fictionwise into an archive since I have realized I don’t often like to read short stories. Like all books I pay for and then change my mind about, they are there in a special Dropbox folder if I want them later, but they don’t taunt me with their unread presence every time I open Calibre!

So, what am I targeting for deletion this year?

- Past reads I don’t plan to read again. I went through a phase where I was trying to replace every book I ever read in paper, and this meant that I used up some of my Fictionwise freebies on books I really don’t intend to read again. With so many great books I haven’t read, it seems silly to waste my reading time going back through a forgettable mystery series from the 80s. Into the special archive folder they go!

- Books for which I can’t find an ePub copy. I have flagged all the eReader-formatted books in my collection which are available at my library in the much-better-looking ePub format. I plan to take a hard look at the ones which remain and determine whether I really plan to read those old backlisted titles. If I do, I know I can convert them with Calibre. If I don’t, I’ll move them to the archive.

- Delphi Classics omnibus books. I love the concept of these books, but I have realized that having the collected works of an author in one volume is a little much for me. I like to log and track the books I have read, and if I read only a portion of a collection, it makes that difficult. There are also some items which appear in more than one collection. I’ve found that, except in rare circumstances, I would rather just find a well-formatted version of the actual book I want to read and be done with it.

It’s not just deleting I plan to do, either! I am simplifying my tags a little to make adding new titles more efficient, and I am going to go through some of my special reading lists (award winners, Penguin Classics and so on) and make sure I caught everything. Speaking of classics, I am going to make them my reading focus over the break, when I have some quiet time. So I plan to spend an hour or so downloading the ones I want from MobileRead, where the formatting tends to be superior, and then update the covers so they all match. I am a little picky about stuff like that! I like being able to flip through them in cover view and have a nice-looking collection. One of the reasons I tag the Penguin Classics books into their own little sub-collection is that their matching covers tend to be very well-done and easy to find on Google Images.

Anyway, that’s what I’ll be doing to get my collection ship-shape. I’ll keep you posted on any great reads I find!

Image credit: Flickr user Planeta under a Creative Commons license.