Guide: Organizing Goodreads Shelves

One of the Tidyathon tasks that I didn’t get to until later was reorganizing my Goodreads: decluttering my TBR, yes, but also cleaning up my other shelves and making sure my system is still working as intended.

(Previously I compiled some general Goodreads tips & tricks, but there’s so much to cover on this specific topic that I’ve made it its own post.)

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Catching Up On My Review Backlog

[or, How I Write Reviews When I Barely Remember the Book]

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I’ve learned the hard way that if I don’t write a review as soon as possible after I finish reading, it’ll take me forever to get around to it. At which point I’ll have forgotten everything I wanted to cover in said review, as well as the plot, the tone, the main character’s name, et cetera. Oh, who am I kidding; I forget the main character’s name whileย I’m reading the book.

Yet I keep telling myself I’ll write the review eventually, start another book, let too many waking hours go by … and before I knew it, I had 24 pending reviews. (Though in my defense, the majority of them are left over from Asian Lit Bingo / Readathon since I was focused on filling as many squares as possible.)ย 

There’s nothing like a bit of deadline pressure to make me finally get stuff done, which is why I’m writing this post! ๐Ÿ˜… It’s partly accountability, and partly sharing some tricks I’ve used to jog my memory and get unstuck in case they might help y’all out too.

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How I Created My Custom Rating System

I’d previously discussed my many frustrations with the default 5-star rating system, and even done some preliminary “research” into upgrades and alternatives. But I was so used to assigning one convenient โ€” if somewhat arbitrary โ€” number and channeling the details and qualifications into my review. Change is hard.

Then Bookending Summer came around, so it was easy to add it to my Tidyathon list … and never actually sit down to create a new rating system. (I didn’t get around to most of my Tidyathon to-dos; we’re only tackling one of them in this post.)

Actually, I’d almost forgotten that this was something I wanted to do, until I checked my post schedule and saw that this one was coming up. So in true student fashion, I procrastinated then wrote this under deadline pressure; I don’t expect the product to be perfect, it’s a process.

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Guide: Formatting Posts Using Templates, Classic + Reusable Blocks

Depending on how you go about it, formatting posts can be as much of a struggle undertaking as actually writing them: not just in terms of time, but the energy it takes to make sure they’re nice and readable, consistent with your previous posts (if that’s something you care about; I know I do), et cetera. After months of experimenting I’ve developed [what I think is] a fairly efficient process, so today I figured I’d share in case anyone else might find it helpful.

[Obligatory disclaimers: I’m not an expert and some of the information in this guide may become outdated and/or look different on your operating system or because I use the editor through /wp-admin, and also I may use the wrong jargon at times. This is just based on my experience of what’s worked well for me.

Also, this is a fairly long post, so feel free to skim as you like!]

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Learning to Let Go

I was that kid who brought in three Trader Joe’s bags of miscellanea for the Rube Goldberg project in eighth-grade physics, and I’ve been putting off cleaning my childhood bedroom because there’s just so much stuff to sort through. But being an out-of-state college student has forced me to be more mindful about the things I keep, because I hate paying for extra luggage and dorm rooms can be pretty small. While I don’t consider myself or an avid follower of the KonMari method (let alone anything more extreme), lately I’ve been pretty into the idea of minimalism and generally being more deliberate about my consumption and collection habits.ย 

So although I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by books, my personal collection has shrunk dramatically. Unless we’re counting ebooks, but the contents of my Kindle are a mess for another day. Though I’ve never been in the habit of buying a bunch of books, I do receive the occasional review copy or gift from friends / family, and once in a while I’ll drop by a bookstore or library sale. If I’m not careful, I gradually amass multiple TBR piles throughout my living space, so regularly sorting and cultivating my collection is an absolute must.

This post is part of Bookending Spring 2019, which is organized by Sam & Clo! Today’s prompt, “Learning to Let Go,” is hosted by Haley @ The Caffeinated Reader.

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Goodreads Tips & Tricks

Although I’ve been using Goodreads to record and review books since 2014, it wasn’t until my relatively recent participation in the bookish community that I started learning a lot of pretty cool things built into the site. If you’re a regular reader of book blogs, you’ve probably at least tried out the [self-proclaimed] “world’s largest community of book lovers”, and for purposes of brevity I won’t go into too much depth in this post โ€” hopefully it’s still accessible!

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