How I Organize My Goodreads Shelves

I have an ulterior motive for this post… if I’m being honest, I’m writing this post because I want YOU to share how you organize your Goodreads shelves.

This could quickly become torture for me because I imagine finding someone else’s way of organizing their shelves on Goodreads that I like better than my own… and then I’d have to spend half of my life reorganizing them… it’s a vicious cycle.

Anyway, I organize my Goodreads shelves very simply and with a definite purpose. Goodreads is essential to me since I have a pretty decent sized home library, I need to be sure that I’m not buying books that I already own. Whenever I go to a bookstore or book sale, I have my Goodreads app open and the scanner up as I browse.

Here is how I organize my shelves:


I have the regular bookshelves: Read, Currently Reading, and Want to Read. I added Did Not Finish to those main shelves so that the books that I don’t finish aren’t categorized under Read or Want to Read.

As for the “sub shelves” (I don’t actually know what they are called, but they are the shelves that act more as tags than their own shelves) I have them broken down like this:



Books that were provided to me by authors or publishers before they have been released in exchange for review consideration. As you can I see, I clearly don’t read a lot of ARCs. I’m extremely picky when it comes to readers copies because I always feel bad writing a negative review of a book that was given to me (that doesn’t stop me of writing a negative review if I don’t like a book, though.)



Books that I’ve gotten signed by the authors and/or cover models and/or audiobook readers. When I started going to book conventions, I realized I wanted to keep track of all the books that I’ve gotten signed by authors.



This shelf is mainly for my Goodreads profile since they are displayed there for anyone to see. I’m actually terrible about keeping this shelf updated, though. I think it’s a really important shelf because I know I usually will browse people’s favorites shelves before I friend them on GR to see if we have similar tastes.


On Audible

Knowing what books I have on Audible is really important for me. This way I don’t accidentally buy it in another format (unless I love it and want several versions!).


On Kindle

Same as my Audible shelf, I like to know what books I have on my Kindle so that I don’t accidentally buy the physical copy or audio copy.


On My Bookshelf

These are books that I own the physical copy of. Same as my Audible and Kindle shelves, it’s good to know what I already have in my collection (and what I still need!)


Reader’s Copy

Like the ARC bookshelf, I don’t have many here. These are books that I receive in exchange for review consideration, but they aren’t advanced copies, they are already released.


Shameless Book Con

These were books by authors who attended Shameless. I had every intention of reading as many as possible before the convention, but that didn’t happen LOL!



These are the books that I want to read immediately. Sometimes they are books that I already own in some format, but sometimes they are books that I don’t own. Trust me, narrowing down this shelf to under 200 books is actually really good compared to the thousands I have listed as straight up Want to Read.


Written By Me

Books that are written (and published) by me… Well… book. Singular (for now).


I’d love to read a breakdown of your Goodreads shelves! Please tag me or leave a link in the comments if you do!





40 thoughts on “How I Organize My Goodreads Shelves

  1. I really need to re-organize mine. Right now, I have too many shelves and I need to clean it up a bit! Although, I found the LibraryThing app and I love it so much more, to see my bookshelf, when I’m shopping. I find it easier. Plus, I was able to add all my DVD’s too!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have to consciously try not to make TOO many shelves because then it just gets overwhelming! It’s been hard to find that balance.

      I’ll look into the LibraryThing app!


  2. OMG why haven’t I thought of the “On my bookshelf” shelf? I don’t know how many times I have come home from a library book sale to find out one of the books I purchased, I already have. Luckily the book only cost me $1 or less so it’s not a big deal but still! Going to be setting this up later in the week LOL!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ohh your shelves look beautiful… I created most of mine around 7 years ago, so they are a mess… and reorganizing more than 900 books is not something I have the patience to do anymore… but for now, I’m totally jealous of your shelves 😜😜😜

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Here’s how I organize my goodreads shelves… i don’t… uhhgg. I really need to though!! It is getting out of hand. It is linked with my Amazon, where I get most of my books, so that kind of helps… ahhhhhh please help me!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So simple, but efficient!

    I have the normal 3 shelves, but I added ‘abandoned’ which is my did not finish. I also have ‘beat the backlist’, ‘birdie bookworm’ and ‘on deck’. The difference between these would be, for Birdie Bookworm I have the books that I’ve already scheduled. Beat the Backlist is for books I’ve selected for the challenge, and on deck is like your TBR ASAP. They’re the books not scheduled but that I wan’t to read right away.

    For the sub-folders, I have genre folders, fav author folders, fav series folders. I also have a favorites folder and a ‘Top Shelf reads’ which are my favorites of favorites. There’s only 7 books there. I have emotional tags like ‘kickass sidekicks’, ‘my lovers’, and ‘tear jerker’. -If I had time I might go through and get rid of a lot of these. I did this when I was on Goodreads exclusively and not a blogger. They’re not so necessary anymore.

    And finally, and probably just as important to me as my exclusive shelves, I have a folder for each year since I joined Goodreads (2010). That way I can see at a glance how many books I read each year, and a quick scan of what they were. I started this in 2010 because you couldn’t list books on your challenge that you reread, so my challenge counts were thrown off when I had to change the reread date. I still love it even now though, because it’s easier to glance at that then it is to go into each challenge.

    Anyway, you’ve isnpired me. I may go and make some changes to simplify some of those sub-folders. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL! I did end up deleting it, because I did go through and clean up. I debated keeping that folder, but in the end I thought about how often I add or remove a series. Because not all love lasts. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I have mine organized by star rating, year, book challenges and genre for the ones that are on my tbr,but i haven’t read yet. That’s in addition to to-read, read, books not released yet, and, currently reading and buddy reads. Hope that makes sense ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t have too many shelves, just the usual ones. I have a favourites and best-of-the-nest shelf. I also have a Top TBR shelf to help me remember which books I want to read soon, and a 2018 TBR so I remember which ones I want to read this year

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve got prioritized exclusive shelves. So my Want To Read shelf is only books I own currently that are still yet to be read, than I have To Read Soon, To Read Eventually, Unreleased, Netgalley, I have a shelf for books I’m unsure about, ones I’m not interested in, ones I’m deliberately staying away from! I have A LOT of exclusive shelves ahah but it just makes it easier for me to find what I’m looking for, especially since I have a very bad memory. It helps with feeling overwhelmed for me as well because it keep me Want To Read shelf small ahah, its really just an illusion but it works ahah

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have a shelf *for review (so as to keep those in the forefront), one for NetGalley titles and one for Edelweiss titles.
    I have shelves for all the individual publishers: Hachette, Severn House, Bookouture, Orenda, Grand Central, House of Zeus, Penguin/Random etc, etc.
    I also have shelves for the genres: crime thriller, literary fiction, police procedural, etc. as well as shelves for the setting of the books: England, Hebrides, Southern U.S. etc.
    I have a shelf of Favorites and one for Duds/Disappointments
    In total, I have 155 shelves on Goodreads.

    (if you are shocked, remember I am a retired library cataloguer LOL)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha I totally understand the detailed categorization due to your previous profession LOL!

      I really like the For Review shelf – that’s a great idea.

      I do kind of wish I organized my shelves by genre, but to go back and do it all would be such a pain!

      Liked by 1 person

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