Join me every Saturday as I ask a Fun Question that’s been on my mind. I’ll give you my take, but I really hope you’ll jump in with your answers too, since I’m really curious to know what my fellow readers and bloggers think! So today’s question is…
Did you know Goodreads could do that?
Last month a blogger friend of mine was tying to find out a way to number her TBR on Goodreads for Random.org. I naturally found this to be a challenge I HAD to solve. What happened next, no one could have predicted.
I discovered so many things I had no clue Goodreads could do.
And I proceeded to spend the next three days reorganizing my shelves.
So I caution you – after reading this post, if you’re an organization freak like me and these features are new to you, you may lose countless hours reorganizing your shelves. Consider yourself warned. 🙂
Customizing your shelves settings
So the first thing I learned was all the ways you could customize what you see on your shelves – since that was the original goal. You can have total control over what details about your books shows up on your shelf. When you go to “My Books” you’ll get a screen that looks like this at the top.
If you click on Settings (indicated by the arrow) a whole panel opens up where you can select what features you want to see, including the option to number your books. Any change you make will immediately change the shelf you’re viewing, but for it to be permanent you have to hit “save current setting to your [name of shelf] shelf.” Click on the links in the picture below for details about different features I thought I’d point on. Most are self-explanatory and not worth note.
A couple of the settings really caught my attention though – in particular “owned” and “recommender” – and made me start to wonder what exactly Goodreads could do. This next bit is where I spent most my time…
Owned and Recommender Features
I’m grouping these two features together because you go to the same place to edit them. Basically Goodreads can keep track of all the copies of books you own. Cool right? Knowledge of this feature led to me spending days going through my Audible Account, Kindle Account, Barnes & Noble account and my physical book shelves noting every single book I owned. Yep, it took LOOOONG TIME. But it was so worth it and now I’m maintaining. Anyway…
So let’s say you just bought a book that I recommended to you. You’ve already added it to your “To Read” shelf but you want to remember that you own it and that I recommended it to you. Goodreads can do that for you. Go to the book page and scroll down to the “My Review” section. The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure you have the right format selected – if it’s the wrong format click “edit” (see picture below) and select the correct format. Once you have that set correctly, click on “edit review” and the fun will begin!
Note: If you’re changing your format, after you hit edit this screen will come up.
Once you’ve entered the review screen there’s a whole slew of features that – if you’re like me – you may have been missing all because you didn’t hit “more options.” Hit it and see what appears! I was shocked.
So I spent a couple days adding all this information and then started thinking, man I wish I could tell at a glance what books I own that I haven’t read. Or that I need to read for review. And I wanted to get rid of the confusion of having them on multiple shelves. That’s when I discovered “exclusive shelves.”
I have to say, of all the things I discovered, Exclusive Shelves rocked my world the most. It is so much easier and faster for me to pick out what books I want to read and need to read now.
First of all – you may be asking – what is an exclusive shelf? Well basically every book on your shelves HAS to be on ONE AND ONLY ONE exclusive shelf. When you get your Goodreads account you get three automatic exclusive shelves: Read, To-Read, and Currently Reading. But you can create more!! I have EIGHT Exclusive Shelves
I love this feature because now if a book is on my to-read shelf, that’s a signal to me that I haven’t filed it away properly. Most days I have 0 books on that shelf. My dying-to-read, hope-to-read and maybe-read shelves are for me to determine how much I really want to read a book. The need-to-read-for-review shelf is for books that I have accepted for review from authors, NetGalley, or Edelweiss. I love seeing at a quick glance how many I have and not having to sort through my TBR. And then there’s owned-but-not-read. This shelf was a shocker… I own 457 books that I haven’t read. Yikes! And I probably wouldn’t have figured that out if it weren’t for this shelf.
What makes exclusive shelves so great is that if a book is on my owned-but-not-read shelf, it’s not on any of the other seven shelves. So as long as I’m responsible about how I add my books, I’ll always have a clear picture of my reading situation. So here’s how to do this for yourself.
On your “My Books” page look at the list of shelves on the left hand side of the screen and next to “bookshelves” click “edit.”
After you do that, this screen will come up. Any shelf you want to can be exclusive, just by clicking the box in that column. You cannot, however, remove any of the original three shelves or make them un-exclusive. See picture for tips.
Putting it all to good use
So all that hard work has to be worth something right? For me, it saves so much time when it’s time to pick out books. For one, I can look at what I already own at a quick glance now – which is much better for my book budget. In the mood for an audio book – I just have to sort the owned-but-not-read shelf by format and all the audio books I own will be sorted together. Bam!
I also recently learned that you can select multiple shelves to view – so I’m still working on this update but I’m working to sort my books better by genre and length. That way, if I want to read a book I already own, that’s on audio and a novella, fantasy genre, I can click on multiple shelves and just see the books that meet all those categories. How? Go to your “My Books” and at the bottom of the list of shelves you’ll see a small link that says “select multiple”. Once you do that little plus signs will appear by each shelf. Click the plus sign of a shelf you want to add to the mix. Change your mind? That plus sign turned into a minus sign, click the minus sign and it’s not included anymore. See picture below for a visual:
So, did you know Goodreads could do that? Any features I’m missing that you use?