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How I Use Goodreads Shelves

Good day, Virtually Readers! Today, I’m going to take you through how I use goodreads shelves. It’s a totally random post, but people were interested. Thank you for being interested, everyone! I do so like goodreads, though, especially when you can see how your reading tastes have changed. I have a very haphazard shelving process because I’ve developed it over the years, so this is basically like revealing the inner workings of my brain. Feel free to friend me on goodreads, by the way-my profile is set to private automatically, but say you came from the blog and I’ll accept your request.


Part One: The Star Shelves

Because I’m really cool, I don’t have shelves called ‘five stars’ or anything like that. Instead, it’s a secret code of words which I am now revealing to you. The only problem is that sometimes I forget which word corresponds to which rating. I’ve been using this system for the last 2 years.

  • Fabulous: five stars
  • Practically-perfect: four and a half stars
  • splendid: four stars
  • worthwhile: three and a half stars
  • good-enough: three stars (as in, it was good enough but nothing special)
  • meh: two and a half stars
  • not-good-enough: two stars
  • I don’t actually have shelves for one and one and a half because I haven’t read any of those books since I started this system
  • disappointment: for any rating, basically means I wish it was better.

Part two: the made-me shelves and other reaction shelves

These track my responses to a book. They’re pretty self explanatory

  • made-me-cry
  • made-me-laugh
  • made-me-roll-my-eyes
  • made-me-think (all decent books should be on this shelf)
    • worth-more-thought: this basically means I need more time to process my reaction to the book.
  • made me research. Either the author or the subject matter.
  • hyperventilates: I’m really/was really excited about this book. created when I found out about Clariel.
  • branching out. This isn’t what I’d usually read
  • dnf: I didn’t finish it
  • on hold. I started it and plan to finish it…but not yet.
  • so-punishing. I did not enjoy this.

Part three: the genre shelves

Again, these are fairly obvious. I’ve added them over the years.

  • dystopia
  • contemporary
    • subset: contempary which is basically empty but when I initially got goodreads at the end of 2013 I apparently didn’t know how to spell
  • classics
  • comics-and-graphic-novels
  • fantasy-realms (this is supposed to be basically for high or middle fantasy books in a different worlds but isn’t really because I initially used it for all fantasy)
    • magic-and-other-madness. This is basically for all books with magic or paranormal activity
    • political-fantasy. Initially this was supposed to be for all books set in a fantasy land but without magic (e.g. The Winner’s Kiss) but now denotes all books with a heavy focus on fantasy politics.
  • historical
  • poetry
  • short-fiction. For short stories and novellas.
  • sciffy: I didn’t want to write out sci-fi, because that’s who I am.
  • non-fiction. This really needs sub-categories, but I haven’t done them yet.
  • adult: Same thing.

Part four: the year shelves.

This is the year where I read the book.

  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • my-childhood. As in, I can’t remember exactly, but I read it at some point.

Part five: the rereading shelves.

These are a mess because they were developed at different times.

  • read-again-and-again. As in, this book has been, or is worthy of, being read again and again. Some of these are from when I was younger and I probably no longer think that.
  • rereads:s in, this was a book I reread.
  • want-to-reread. As in, if I want to reread a book I should look at this shelf. Not very well used because I don’t know what I want to reread and when I want to reread it (or rather, I do, but I don’t put it on that shelf necessarily)

Part six: the reviewing shelves

These I basically used to keep track of review. By combining the year shelf and the review shelf I can see everything I’ve reviewed that year. A review is anything with more than one idea, more than 300 words or else serious though and procrastination behind it.

  • reviewed
  • to-review. I used to use this feature when I would mark a book as finished then write a review. Now I don’t, so it basically has the books I’m never gonna write a review for.

Part seven: The content shelves

These indicate the stuff which happens in the book and are very haphazard. This post could basically be summarized as haphazard lol.

  • academic
  • bad-life-choices. (the characters usually, not mine)
  • diverse (this shelf is way too broad and poorly defined)
  • fighting
  • light
  • lovey-dovey
  • senseless-drama
  • silly
  • stupid-character
  • too-much-dithering (one of my favourite shelves along with magic and other madness)
  • woah-plot-twist
  • weird

Part eight: miscellaneous

These shelves are basically everything else that doesn’t fit in any of the parts above. Hence, extra explanation.

  • arcs: I got an arc. a very small shelf
  • for some reason I separate these and not physical/ebooks.
  • book-is-better-than-beautiful-cover. Basically it deserves or surpasses its’ cover.
  • fangirl-worthy. It deserves some measure of devotion.
  • forgettable: my newest shelf, for books that fail to leave an impression.
  • maybe: I mean I might read it. Maybe. Dodginess.
  • school: I read this for school. I don’t actually put all school books in here though so it’s incomplete.
  • white-girl-in-fancy-dress-cover. Inspired by a trip to the library where I came back with about seven books featuring white girls wearing fancy dresses on the cover. I wanted to track this design phenomenon and its impact on my reading. The shelf has 64 books on it, which I think says a lot.
  • short-and-sweet. This isn’t about length, this is about how long it takes me to read them, e.g. a 600 page book I read in one and a half days will still be on the shelf.
  • write-faster-author. I want to read more by this author.
  • Yes: I don’t even know why I created this shelf (tell me your secrets, 14 year old Shanti) but basically all books I feel even vaguely positive about are shelved this way, making it some of my most useful shelves.

I have 71 goodreads shelves which is probably way too many, because just shelving a book is a chore. Oh well, it’s my funereal. How do you use goodreads, if you have it? Which of these shelves is your favourite, and what’s a book you would put on it? tell me in the comments.


24 thoughts on “How I Use Goodreads Shelves

  1. I like that you have shelves for ratings and years. If I were a little more organized, I’d like to do the same thing on my Goodreads, except it sounds like a lot of work and I am not a professional reviewer. *shrugs* I guess it will come up when it comes up? Mine are mostly formed out of convenience… I should probably have a few MORE shelves, to be honest. I just wish there was a way to delete certain shelves, but not the books on them. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah it really need to prune my to read shelf because I have grown up and it has not. It is a lot of work but I do like to see all the axes of aspects of a book. Goodreads is great though!📚📖


  2. So we must be almost BRAIN TWINS (shh it’s not that scary, stop crying) because I organise my shelves really similarly!! I have the year-read and the star ratings and the genres! And I’ve started doing more shelves to split up like some smaller topics, like mental health, zombies, rereads etc. I want to categorise more diversities too! I also have “best of the year” shelves because otherwise I don’t remember at all.😂 Seriously if goodreads wasn’t around to tell me I wouldn’t even know what books I liked hahaah omg.😂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh I LOVE all of these shelves so much, they’re so creative and useful, I bet, to find your books again. I really want to do that, but for now my shelves are just organized with the basic “to read” and “read” shelves because I am veeeeery lazy ahahah. Great post! 🙂


  4. Those are a lot of shelves! I myself don’t really like to make shelves according to ratings because I feel as if I already have too many shelves!

    Some of my favourite shelves are the ones that are based in countries/or characters in which the books I read aren’t usually in such as irish, africa, nigeria, korean, japanese setting and chinese culture. I also like my no romance and minimal romance shelves for obvious reasons and also so I’ll have recommendations to give and if I’m not in the mood for a romance, I can just check out the shelf. It also applies to other genres. If I want to branch out, I’ll check those genre shelves for books to read.


    1. Fair enough. I know the feeling of too many shelves. Country shelves are an excellent idea, as is assessing the romantic content. Speaking of, Gap Year in Ghost Town has no romance and is very funny and not that paranormal.


  5. Wow! I am definitely not that organised when it comes to Goodreads! I think the only extra shelves I have are ARCs and my series shelves (series to read, finished series, unfinished series). I may have to have a look at getting a little more organisation happening on my Goodreads account

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is impressive and really speaks to the organizational side of me. I have started branching out a little more, but basically shelve by genre/sub-genre, age group, and reading challenge. If I added more shelves, I know I would go back and NEED to reclassify every book I ever read, but this is awesome.


  7. DUDE I LOVE ALL THE CREATIVE NAMES but I honestly could not do that. XD I guess I could recognize my own code words but it just doesn’t work for me ahhaha. I really want to start shelving by my reaction, etc. but I just feel like it would ruin my very straight and specific shelf names. Because I’d definitely make it sarcastic. XD Great post though! I’ll definitely use it if I want to redo my shelves, or add some. 🙂


  8. Ahh this post was so much fun to read! I love seeing how ppl organize their shelves and what silly names they give them… you’re absolutely right, there are an AWFUL lot of YA covers with white girls in pretty dresses.

    As for me, some of my own shelf titles that always make me laugh are called “overrated drivel” and “why so hetero.” 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This post raises countless questions: Stiff like why store books in a forgettable shelf to help you remember them, and if white-girl-in-a-fancy-dress shelf why not a brown girl in salwar Kameez or blue-zombie-sucking-the-brain-out-of-a-spotty-android shelf? why limit your life to only 71 categories? Why these 71?


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