Goodreads shelves

I made a few new virtual shelves (collections) in Goodreads: gave up on, re-read, on shelf, and ebooks.

The shelf for books I gave up on is important to me. I want to be honest about my willingness to give up. It was something I really struggled with when I was younger, so I want to allow myself to take ownership of any books I quit. I also want to keep a record so that I can see what I don’t finish and have a good reminder of how many books I read compared to how many I quit.

Goodreads allows you to make your new shelves “exclusive.” Having “exclusive” shelves means that any books on those shelves can only be on one of those shelves. It’s really useful if you don’t want to include books you quit on your shelf of books you’ve finished. Though, it looks like Goodreads still counts them as “read” in your stats, which is a bit annoying if you’re doing a reading challenge (ex: it looks like I’ve met my goal of reading 50 books this year, but I’ve actually only read about 45 and quit 5 others). So, I guess I should bump my goal up to 55 or 60 to make up for the books I give up on.

I also added a shelf for books that I’ve re-read. This shelf is not “exclusive,” so the book stays on my “read” shelf, but I can document that I re-read it by also adding it to this new shelf. I decided to track this because I have a bad habit of boldly claiming that I “never” re-read anything and that’s not true. My best example is Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I have read/watched/listened to multiple versions and would happily re-read/re-watch/re-listen to all of them multiple times over.

Lastly, I’ve added shelves for unread books: ebooks (from various sources – my Kobo, Kindle cloud reader, etc.) and books I have at home. I don’t want these books to clutter up my “want to read” list. I will probably read these books eventually, but some of the books are ones that were gifts or bought on a whim (ex: at a used book sale), so I’m not sure if I really want to read them. Adding them to these shelves will help to remind me that maybe I should consider reading them without having them clutter up my “want to read” list.

My “want to read” shelf has always been really overwhelming (nearly 200 before this weekends weeding and nearly 300 a few years ago). In fact, it was too overwhelming. Anytime I looked at it to see what I should read next, I just stared blankly and then mentally run away from it. It was easier to just watch something on Netflix. In other words, I was only using the list to hoard book titles. It’s down to 20 books now and I’m going to try and make sure that I always keep it at about 20-25 so that it’s manageable and not scary. On an unrelated note, I may also get rid of Netflix as it’s starting to creep into my daily routine far too much.

It was a lot of work and I still have a few things I want to do to tidy up my Goodreads account. For example, I’m thinking of making a shelf for books I read ages ago (pre-tracking, which started sometime around 2010). I like the idea of keeping a record of them even though I can’t remember when I read them or how much I liked them.

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