How To Make Goodreads Work For You

It’s no secret that I love Goodreads. It’s great for anyone who is a book fan but it’s really fantastic for book bloggers. Here are some of my tricks to making Goodreads work best for me.

Private Notes

One of my book blogging friends mentioned this on Twitter a while back and I love the idea. I use it quite a bit now. Whenever you add a book to one of your shelves, you can also edit the review. You can add lots of information there: when you started and finished the book, number of times you read the book, who recommended it to you, etc. Private notes is one of the options as well. These are notes that only you can see about the book.

Whenever you finish a book that is part of a series, quickly add some notes about what happened at the end of the book in your private notes. This is incredibly helpful when you pick up the next book!


I highly recommend playing around and making some more exclusive shelves. My how to for that is here. “Did not finish” and “put on hold” are some shelves that I’ve found handy.

Try to make use of the normal shelves as well. Do what works for you. Shelve books by the year you read them, where you heard about the book, genre of book, how you liked it. There’s no limit to the shelves so go nuts!


If you have a smart phone, grab the app. It’s awesome! I love being able to look at my shelves at the store or library when I’m not sure of what to read. My favorite part of the app is you can scan a bar-code of a book and it will bring up the book’s page allowing you to look at more details about the book. You can also scan multiple books and add them to one of your shelves.


Goodreads does really well with recommendations. If you keep up with managing your shelves, you can get good recommendations based on your book shelves. You can also get recommendations from your friends and you can recommend books to your friends. That’s a huge plus if you’re friends with people who have similar tastes as you.

One of the cooler features Goodreads has is the Recommendations Request feature. You can ask for a recommendation and tell the other users what type of book you want. You can be an generic or a specific as you’d like. The flip side of that is you can respond to other user’s requests.

Re-reads and the Reading Challenge

Every year on Goodreads, users are able to challenge themselves to read a certain amount of books per year. For the most part, it’s pretty easy to use. A book is counted for the challenge when you set the start and finished date for the year you want the book to count towards. Users have noticed the problem with re-reading a book that counted towards a past challenge. When you switch the dates, the book goes away from the old year moves and to the new year. That’s a bit frustrating.

The work around? Review a different edition of the book for your re-read! It might not be the exact book you’re reading but now you’re able to add the new information about the book. It will count towards the current year’s challenge and the past challenge’s are intact.

Here are some tricks from my fellow bloggers:


Heidi  @ Bunbury in the Stacks loves the spoiler feature. Obviously this is particularly helpful if you’re discussing spoilers in great details.


Katie @ Doing Dewey informed me that you can browse books by where they take place here.

What are some of your tricks and tips for Goodreads?


9 thoughts on “How To Make Goodreads Work For You

  1. These are some great tips! The Private Notes one is going to be especially helpful for me – I’m just reading the last book in a series and I’m having trouble remembering everything that happened in the last book. 🙂

  2. Oooo, I didn’t know about the private notes part of Goodreads. I definitely need to look into that. I think I coudl get tons of use out of it.


  3. Private notes are the best! So helpful, though I wish the character limit wasn’t so small. I really like the recommendations tab, too. My TBR always explodes when I look through them, haha. I didn’t know about the places browsing feature, though. Very cool!

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