iOS 7: Organizing Books into Collections

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I’m not sure many folks are aware that you can use iBooks’ Collections feature to organize your books into sections that are similar to folders. This is handy for me because I’m often getting book recommendations from pals, and when I do, I download a sample of the item onto my iPhone so that I don’t forget it. The only problem with that is I then end up with a long scrolling list of items within iBooks, and it’s messy. So I’ve created a “To Read” Collection that I use specifically for storing those samples:

You of course can do whatever you like with this—put all of the 724 books of the Wheel of Time series into their own Collection, say, or separate out fiction from nonfiction. It’s your party, and you can organize how you want to.

So to access and edit your Collections, first open the iBooks app. On the iPhone, touch the text at the top-center of your screen (which probably reads “Books”); on the iPad, you’ll tap “Collections.”

Within that view, you can check out what Collections you already have. The default ones (which you can’t remove) are “Books,” “Purchased Books,” and “PDFs.” The “PDFs” Collection is filled with, well, PDFs that you’ve saved to iBooks from somewhere else—Safari or Mail, for example. Anyway, choose to add a new Collection, give it a name, and away you go. 

When you’re finished, touch “Done.” Now we’re gonna add some books to it! Go to the Collection you want to move from by tapping on it from the Collections dialog (as shown in my third screenshot above) and touch “Edit.”

Select the books you’d like to add to your new Collection, and then tap “Move.” 

Afterward, pick any of your Collections to move your selection to.

Finally, to delete a Collection you’ve added, go back to your Collections screen, touch “Edit,” and you’ll see the familiar red Delete icon.

If you had items in the Collection you’re trying to remove, iBooks will then ask you what you’d like to do with them. Choose “Don’t Remove,” and those books will pop back to where they came from.

Do you guys use Collections in any original ways? How do you organize all of your iBooks? Am I the only crazy person who reads way more on my iPhone than on my iPad? Tell me all about it in the comments!

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I use it to sort books by who reads them. My collection of Poe, Wells, Lovecraft, and Verne, are in one collection. My pile of paleontology research papers is in another. My wife’s endless succession of murder mysteries is in another. We don’t read the same things.


No, Melissa, you are NOT the only crazy person (well, not in this case). I read books at lunch (at work) and before going to sleep, where holding an iPad up while lying down would be too heavy! The night mode (white text on black) is perfect, because it doesn’t disturb the person lying next to you, like all of those night lights used to. And you don’t worry about the “blue light from the screen will keep you up” thing!

BTW, I’m currently plowing thru “The Ultimate Science Fiction Anthology”, 22 books for a couple of bucks (for you Sci-Fi fans!) Start with A Princess of Mars (the “John Carter” movie), and then go thru the other Mars books in the order they are listed in the Anthology. Action packed!

Melissa Holt

Thanks for the comments! And CCardona, I appreciate the recommendations—I’m gonna check them out. grin

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