Let’s Talk About Goodreads & Why I Made A New One (Quick Chat)

On an impulsive urge to declutter, I completely purged my Goodreads account.

Not just purged it, I created an entirely new one.

My old GR account was stupid. I had too many books added to my TBR shelf, too many friends that I didn’t even know, and some of my “Read” books somehow got duplicated. It was a hot mess and it was bothering the crap out of me. So, I fixed it by creating a brand spankin’ new one! So, naturally, I just want to chat about GR today – how I redid mine and to ask you how you organize yours! This is a quick postΒ  πŸ™‚

Before we continue, feel free to add me on there! Just click here to go to my profile.


The biggest change is that, for now, I only added books I already own to my shelves. I wanted an easy way to catalog my owned books and with my old GR account, it would have been a pain in the ass to do. So, for now, I’ve only added books I currently OWN to my shelves. I’ll probably make some sort of unowned TBR shelf, but that’s where the questions at the end of this come in!

Continuing from the books I add, I wanted to organize them into specific shelves. Owned books that I haven’t read. Ebooks. Audiobooks. Review copies. Now I can easily look at my progress while attempting to actually read books I own and not constantly purchasing new ones (say hi to a book buying ban!)


I don’t want to just accept friend requests all willy-nilly anymore. It made my feed a mess and I didn’t even care about 80% of the updates. Instead, I added a challenge question and am only accepting my mutuals, current & future ones. I want to actually use GR as a way to chat about books, not just a hot mess of clicking “Want to Read” over and over.


Goodreads has always been a bit of a stressor to me. Mainly because of the Reading Challenge – my own and others. I always looked at the amount everyone else was reading and felt bad for not reading as much. I’ve also been in a huge slump for months and was already nearly 15 books behind schedule with my reading goal. So, I set my goal to 1 and am going to ignore that shit. I’ll read what I want, when I can, the end.

I also am not going to be publishing full reviews on GR, just star ratings. At least for now. First, I always forget to transfer them anyways. Second, there was a post by one of you (forgetting who now, if it was you let me know so I can link!) about how Google thinks if you copy your review from blog to GR, that your blog is the duplicate. Third, reviewing adds to the pressure. I figured a review on my blog will be good enough. With all that said, I may still add a few quick reviews here and there, especially for ARCs & other review copies since it helps those authors out so much!

Honestly, that’s it! I just wanted to start fresh. I wanted to utilize GR in a more effective way to catalog and fangirl – and not feel pressure to read and take my updates/reviews too seriously. So…

Do you even use Goodreads?
If you do, how do you organize your books?

I need some inspiration for types of shelves to make, so what shelves do you have? Do you have any that you can link below? I’d love to see how y’all make it work for you!

Comments are the best! Let's chat!

45 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Goodreads & Why I Made A New One (Quick Chat)

  1. I saw you tweet about this and added you straight away <3 I don't have any extra shelves apart from a DNF one. People have all different genres and things but I'm not ready for that level of intelligence and geekiness yet – it seems to overwhelming! I admire people who do have perfect shelves and things!
    I stopped writing reviews on Goodreads as well! I think it was Puput @ Sparkling Letters who wrote the post about Goodreads and Google:

  2. You know what? One of my goals for this Spring break is to do the same thing! I hate that you have friends instead of followers there, because I’m sorry to not accept people but I don’t care about updates from those I don’t know, I tried to keep the people I cared about in the Top Friends feature, but if I accept requests from the app the feature doesn’t work and marks everybody as Top Friends. I’m going to start from scratch soon, using it mostly as a catalogue. By the way, I did the same with my reading goal πŸ™‚

    1. YAY! YEAH. DO IT. Yeah, that top friends thing is annoying. >.< It's kind of refreshing to have a new one to start over with!

  3. I use Goodreads a lot. I track all of my book related stuff there. I have bookshelves for everything. For authors that I will not support (my “nope” shelf), books that I own but haven’t read (want to read shelf), books that I don’t own but I want to read (wishlist), books that friendly book bloggers recommended go on their own shelf. I have a bunch of shelves that I purge every six months or so.

    I actually just did a whole purge of shelves, friends and revamped the hell out of my feed. I’m really happy with the way that everything is now so I’m glad that I took the time to do it. I did the batch edit to clear out all box that I’m not interested in reading anymore. I also cleared out some shelves that I don’t even use and updated others so that my shelves match up the way that I want them to on my shelves list. If that makes any sense.

    I sent your a friend request on GR though I did it really fast so I didn’t even answer your question so I hope you add me anyway. Sorry! You can see my shelves if you add me. πŸ™‚

    1. Ah, yours sounds so organized! I hope I can keep my new one clean like that.

      Also, I don’t think your request went through? Try again??

  4. I can see how Goodreads can get overwhelming. I try to keep mine really simple, with a DNF shelf, a favorites shelf, and shelves for the very few challenges I do. I actually don’t even keep my TBR on Goodreads; I keep it on Pinterest.
    I sometimes feel inadequate when I see other people’s reading challenges or I see how many books they’ve read this year, but as much as I love reading, I don’t want to do it 24/7.

      1. I created a board called “New Books to Read” and just pin from Amazon to that board. If the book hasn’t been released yet, I put the release date in the description so I know when it’s coming out. I use Goodreads to keep track of stuff I’ve already read, but for my TBR, I just find Pinterest more visually appealing.

        1. ohhh that’s interesting! I don’t use pinterest all that often. I used to use it ALL the time when I was planning my wedding and haven’t really touched it since then lol

  5. I don’t have a Goodreads anymore (quit it before I even started my blog ?), but, yeah, it definitely got stressful. Like, I remember a couple weeks before I quit, I attempted to make a new account and start using it more instead of my first one because I was getting tired of everything and wanted to start over. I ended up just quitting it altogether because it wasn’t my thing! But I’m glad to see you get more organized! That’s always a good thing! ?

    1. hahaa I don’t use it all that often but I like to for keeping a catalog of my books & checking out new ones πŸ™‚ To each his own!

  6. Interesting thoughts! I’ve accepted a lot of friend requests lately from other bloggers and my feed is a bit of a mess too — I hate how it tells me every time they comment on or like someone else’s post who I don’t even know or care about, and it seems there’s no way to disable that. I find myself having to do a search for my real friends’ pages just so I can see what they’re reading.

    There’s something very appealing about just chucking the whole thing and starting over! I’ve got a to-read list and a maybe-to-read list (the addition of the maybe-to-read has been very helpful to me!) and between them I’ve got probably 800+ books (ha, just checked; make that 950!!!) — so many that the ones I really DO want to read get lost and forgotten in the shuffle.

    I do like my shelf organization, though; other than my maybe-to-read shelf, I’ve got first-in-series, non-fiction, classics, books-i-own, net-galley and dnf.

    1. GOSH YES. I’ll like someones update to only discover it’s my friend liking SOMEONE ELSES update. That is so annoying!

      That’s the exact reason I wanted a new one. There were so many books that I REALLY wanted to read but they got lost in the 9238920 other books I kept adding. Definitely want to try to reign that in this time around lol

  7. Hi! I am super glad you added me on Goodreads! I also try to keep my shelves organized, as well as my TBR. Thanks for this post and I hope we can talk soon! See you on twitter! Lol bye.

  8. I have maybe a weird approach to Goodreads. I kind of missed the “social” part of it when I started and treat it more like my personal reading journal. I add every book I read and categorize it by many different genres and responses (“didn’t live up to the hype,” “made me laugh,” “my kids loved it,” etc.) I also originally added a bunch of other books that I remember reading over the years–the “read repeatedly as a kid” shelf is pretty big. And whenever a book is mentioned that I’ve read but forgot about, I add it and rate it. I pretty much ignored the friends and followers thing for years. Once I found out how to organize it a bit, I went in and made only about 5 people top friends, but I usually ignore their posts too, frankly. And I’m more likely to write a mini review on GR than to write a full review on my blog. I just don’t feel like anyone needs my opinion in particular, so I just jot down my personal response for my own record keeping.

    I guess this doesn’t actually answer your questions! But in sum, I think we can all use it however it works for us, and if it doesn’t work for us, we don’t have to use it at all.

    1. Ok, I didn’t do the whole social thing either! It was just a way for me to keep track of my books, but it quickly got out of hand hahah

      I’m starting to feel like that with reviews as well. They don’t really get read and I’m always stressing about posting them – I think I’m just going to drop reviews in general >.< haha

  9. Hi Molly,
    I made a new GR about two-three years ago, and only added people I find interesting. I am trying to keep it small, though, because I get overwhelmed very quickly. As for the TBR pile, I too add only books that I have on my shelves already.

    You really posit some interesting ideas here, a lot of them are stuff I didn’t think of. Like, reviews being marked as duplicates (What!). Basically, I don’t review things on GR for the most part. I may write like a short couple of sentences if I feel really passionate about a book. But, that’s basically it.

    Loving your blog a lot, Molly. Super great content!

    1. The duplicate thing was new to me too! I also just don’t really like writing reviews so I don’t think mine are all that helpful on GR.

      Also, thank you! Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  10. I love Goodreads. I started an account in 2010, but ultimately deleted it during my great social media purge of 2013. I created a new account in December 2015. I use the “Follow Reviews” feature to follow other book bloggers, which keeps my Friends list small and my feed active.I usually take a look at the “Compare Books” feature before following a blogger. I regularly clean out my TBR list so it never again becomes an unwieldy beast. I hope your new account works for you!

  11. This is AWESOME. I am kind of in awe of this, actually. I am too afraid to fully let go of my old Goodreads because I am resistant to change, but I LOVE the idea. I did, however, go through and mark “top friends” AND then set my feed to ONLY show me those people. And they were like- you know, like you, and other people whose blog I follow and talk to on Twitter and such. Like, people whose updates I actually care to see πŸ˜‰ THAT made my feed like, a million times better, but it also took me a LONG time to do- I had to uncheck the box of every rando I had added back when I just added anyone and everyone who requested.

    As for reviews, I do them when I want, and ONLY when I want. Usually for more under-the-radar books I will, and I also have the UBB plugin that lets reviews from my blog be sent to Goodreads. Honestly, without that, I would probably NEVER cross-post.

    Shelves… ugh. Mine are mostly weird. I mean, I have the usuals- the TBR, Read, currently Reading, DNF, then I have “Ask Again Later” for books I am not ready to commit to DNFing hah. (But let’s be real, they’re probably DNFs) Then I have the books I MIGHT want to read, and books I own, physically and ebook, and then a wishlist, and books I pre-ordered. THEN I have books I MUST read. And after all of THOSE, I have year ones, and then subcategories for each month of each year- but that is mostly because of the Monthly New Release Giveaway Hop, because it makes it a LOT easier on me every month!

    1. GR definitely needs to improve the friend system! I made a new one because I didn’t want to go through 500 friends and decide which I talked to and which I didn’t. I was too lazy haha. Even the shelving thing is annoying, batch editing is not easy. I didn’t really use GR a lot before so I didn’t mind making a new one. All of my reviews are gone, so that’s weird, but honestly, it’s kind of nice.

      I have an “on hold” shelf (or used to) for books I started but didn’t finish but weren’t quite DNF yet lol so I feel you there. I guess I REALLY wish there was a way to add books to a shelf WITHOUT adding them to the Want to read shelf automatically. Do you know a way? I want to keep that shelf to the ones I own only but I want to add the ones I’m looking forward to to their own shelf. UGH

      1. Sorry for butting in. I think I know what you mean and yes there is a way to add an extra exclusive shelf. I have added a DNF shelf that way.
        Standard you only have read, to read and currently reading, but you can add more exclusive shelves. Just add a new shelf and then once you’ve done that go to my books and click on edit shelves, then you can click exclusive next to that one and those shelves show up on the top. Each book can only be on one of those exclusive shelves.
        Then when you add a new book you just remove it from want to read and move it to your new shelf instead. Or once you hit want to read you can select the new shelf instead of the to-read shelf and it adds the book to that instead. I think that should work for what you were looking for.

  12. I just accepted your friend request on Goodreads and then visited your blog and saw this post. That’s interesting you just started anew. I don’t think I could do that, but my account sure could use some organization. I have a bunch of books on my shelves I don’t plan on reading anymore.

    I do like goodreads, I use the shelves to keep track of whether I own a book or not and on which device I have it on. I have an own shelf for books I own and a wishlist shelf for books that I don’t own. It’s very handy and I like having a shelf for books that I got for review and those I got for review and already reviewed, so I can easily see which ones I haven’t reviewed yet.

    I set a challenge question as that way I can easily see who is a spammer and just hit request and who actually read the question and answered it. I have unfriended a few people over the years, but mostly I just try to be careful whom I accept.

    I also get a bit stressed out when I am too far behind my goodreads goal, so I always set it on the low side. But I do like seeing/ tracking how many books I read in a year, so that’s why I do like the challenge and always join each year.

    1. Oh I kind of did the same! I have books I own and in which format, then review copies read & unread ones. I set a question now! Which is super helpful. I like to see what my friends are reading, not a bunch of random people >.< I like tracking my books, but the goal thing was stressing me out lol. I was like 15 books behind schedule already!

  13. I made a new Goodreads profile when I started my blog. In addition to Read, To-red and Currently reading, I made other exclusive shelves such as the one for the books I did not finish because they do not fit into any of the three categories. I also have shelves for which langugae the books are translated from, which countries they are set in and the genres

    1. Oh that’s fascinating! I don’t think I’ve read enough translated books to even include those types of shelves, but I like that. I like the setting shelf too! πŸ™‚

  14. I added two exclusive shelves to my account to accommodate DNFs and Wishlist books. So my TBR only actually has books in my possession. And after that I shelve by format and whether it’s for review or already reviewed. That way I can sort multiple ways.

  15. Hannah from So Obsessed With has a really great post about organizing Goodreads. I used her guide to move all of my TBR books I didn’t own to an exclusive “Wishlist” shelf, leaving my actual TBR for just the books I currently own and haven’t read. It’s nice to see a TBR that looks relatively under control – it’s not nearly as overwhelming! Haha

  16. This is actually super smart. My GR is SUCH a mess and my “want-to-read” folder is so big I don’t think I’ll ever get through it. And I don’t even remember half of what I add to it anyways.

    1. haha yeah, I don’t actually use it TOO much for social but more to keep track of what I’m reading. I do like to see what my friends are reading and their updates though so that was my main reason for creating a new one!

  17. Shannon over at It Starts at Midnight mentioned this post and I was intrigued—I had to come see your reasoning for giving up on that old account and starting from scratch. I don’t know if I could manage to let go (I have issues that way), but I have, on several occasions, attempted to organize my Goodreads account a bit more. My TBR is way out of control, even after I’ve removed hundreds of books. I did use the Top Friends feature to make my feed more manageable, but it took me a long time to do. I always think there’s more I could do to clean my GR account up—can’t decide if it would actually be faster to start over from scratch!

    1. See, for me, it was just too much stress to make my old one “just right”. It was 100x easier for me to just start over. The other one was just too much for me haha I didn’t have the patience to remove books and do the top friend thing >.<

  18. I totally feel the same way about being a hot mess on GR. I don’t really read the updates on my GR feed because I don’t really know half of my GR friends. I thinks it’s a good thing to limit how many friends you have on GR! Keeping it to people that have the same interests as you makes it so much nicer going on GR and seeing what everyone’s doing. I really want to sort out how I shelve my books as well and make it more useful.

    I also have duplicates of books on GR, I think it has to do with the format that you add to your shelves? All of it makes me want to sort my GR account out, but it’s way down the list of things I want to do with my site/brand right now.

    I got your new GR friend request! πŸ˜€

    Jordon @ Simply Adrift

    1. Exactly! I had like 600 friends and probably talked to 10 of them? It’s kind of nice having an entirely new one. Less notifications, that’s for sure. And my feed is nice too because I see the few people I actually talk to lol

  19. Great post. I really need to do something to better organize my GR account. It’s a trainwreck. Every once in a while I purge my ‘To-Read’ category, but it’s still out of control since it’s so full of books that I don’t even own yet.

    1. It’s so hard to purge it! haha I gave up trying, there were too many books on it. I couldn’t even remember what some of the books were lol