Goodreads Hack: Creating a “Not Going to Read” Shelf

bookworm-hacks-not-interested-shelfYou do know about creating additional exclusive shelves on Goodreads, yes?

The exclusive shelves are the ones where a book can only be on one of them – the defaults are “Read” “Want to Read” and “Currently Reading.” I’ve since added three of my own – “Never Finished” “Paused” and “Not Interested.”

Why did I make a “Not Interested” shelf?

I debated this one a long time, as I was concerned that it could seem mean in a way: I am not going to read a lot of books, so why was it necessary to highlight certain titles that I’m not going to try?

What eventually swayed me to do it is that there are some books that I keep looking at, and then remembering “no, I already checked it out and passed on it.” I want to save my time and have it already in my Goodreads account as a “not for me.”

And that’s what this shelf is: a not for me shelf. If you see a favorite book of yours on the shelf, it’s not that I’m saying I think it’s a bad one. Simply, it’s not one I want to read. Perhaps it’s got some themes I don’t enjoy, or maybe I’ve read too many that are similar and don’t want another one.

It’s already been handy, and I’m wishing I hadn’t waited so long to create it.

Have you added any extra exclusive shelves to your Goodreads account?

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Binge Reading: All the Series Fiction

While I was sick and then slowly recovering over the past two weeks, I haven’t been doing much in the way of blogging (obviously), but barring the very worst days of sickness, I have been reading.

the-brutal-tellingAnd reading, and reading. I’ve been on a series fiction binge and loving it.

I’ve read #5 in the Chief Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny (The Brutal Telling), #3 and #4 in the Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch (Whispers Underground and Broken Homes), #2 and #3 in the Enola Holmes series by Nancy Springer (The Case of the Left-Handed Lady and The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets) , #1 and #2 in the Lady Darby series by Anna Lee Huber (The Anatomist’s Wife and Mortal Arts).

a-grave-matterSo as to be not 100% series fiction I also read Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen, Last of the Breed by Louis L’Amour, and Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson.

Waiting for me on my Kindle are the next in the Gamache, Grant, and Darby series. Plus I really should get moving on my book club books for next month. The Hobbit is waiting for me. 😉

And all the while I’m trying desperately to keep myself from reading #3 in the Cormoran Strike series, because there’s still no publication date listed for #4.

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Goodreads Hacks: Creating a “Paused” Shelf

Goodreads imageOne of my most recent updates to my Goodreads account is the addition of an exclusive “paused” shelf. I use it for books that I had been reading, but for whatever reason I’m not continuing ot read at this time. Yet, I didn’t want to add them to my “did not finish” shelf, because I do think I’ll finish them someday.

While it’s still a fairly new addition to my shelves, so far I’m *loving* it. It makes it easy for me to clear out my “currently reading” shelf, and yet not lose those books that I hadn’t finished.


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Goodreads Hacks: Using a Secret Group

Goodreads imageOne of the things I have wished Goodreads offers is a way to make a shelf of books private. Not my entire profile, but just some titles, for when I’m working on projects.

Why yes, this is especially on my mind right now because of planning for book club next year. I want the choices to be a surprise, so I can’t exactly make a shelf and call it “2017 book club possibilities” and keep the suspense.

Enter a secret group. From my computer (I can’t get it to work from the app, unfortunately), I created a new group with only me as a member. Then I pulled in all the titles I’m considering. And, while it doesn’t matter quite as much with this year (I’m in the final stages of selecting), I’m already making plans to use it for next year: I can add titles throughout the year and have them ready to consider next fall when I begin finalizing plans for 2018.

The only downside that I have found with this is that it doesn’t work on the app. I can’t create the groups on the app, and I can’t see the bookshelves I’ve filled via the app. So, it’s not a perfect solution, but it’s better than nothing.

If you’ve figured out a better workaround to the lack of private shelf options in Goodreads (besides a piece of paper kept offline), please let me know!

Previously on The Deliberate Reader

Two years ago: Homeschooling Update: Teaching Reading with All About Reading
Three years ago: Book Review: The Well-Educated Mind by Susan Wise Bauer
Four years ago: Review: Blackout / All Clear by Connie Willis

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

On Rereading Books: Still Life

Still LifeYears ago I read Louise Penny’s novel, Still Life. It introduced a new mystery series set in Canada.

And I was thoroughly unimpressed with it, and proceeded to ignore future books in the series as they were released.

Except. Friends whose reading tastes I trust kept saying good things about her books (especially on audio). They said that the first wasn’t her best, but that the series improves.

There’s so many things to read, it’s hard to justify rereading a book I didn’t like, in the hopes of it turning into a series I like, but I do trust my reading friends.

Last week I reread Still Life, with the plan being just to get it read to reintroduce myself to the characters, with the expectation of continuing on with the series.

And I don’t know if it was the (very) low expectations I had, or if it was a different stage of reading life, but I really enjoyed it. Now I’m left wondering why I thought so poorly of the book the first time through. This is when it would be helpful if I’d been blogging about my reads all along; all I have is that star rating, with no comments. Was it a mistake – had I meant to type 3 stars and my finger slipped? Was I in a particularly cranky mood when I read it and nothing would have pleased me? It’s a mystery, one that no detective will solve for me.

On the bright side of things, it means I have the entire Penny series to look forward to reading, thank you very much Jessica and Sarah and Janet and Anne.

On the not-so-bright side, what other books or series have I potentially been ruling out because of a bad first experience, when if I tried them again I might think quite differently about them?

Find the book: Print | Kindle | Audible | Nook | Goodreads

Publisher’s Description:
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surêté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal. Jane Neal, a local fixture in the tiny hamlet of Three Pines, just north of the U.S. border, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it’s a tragic hunting accident and nothing more, but Gamache smells something foul in these remote woods, and is soon certain that Jane Neal died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter. Still Life introduces not only an engaging series hero in Inspector Gamache, who commands his forces – and this series – with integrity and quiet courage, but also a winning and talented new writer of traditional mysteries in the person of Louise Penny.

Book Details

Title: Still Life
Author: Louise Penny
Category: Fiction / Mystery
My Rating: 3 Stars

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Previously on The Deliberate Reader

Three years ago: Book Review: Poison

Summer Reading and Plans

Blogging has been sparse lately – I’ve had good plans (and I have posts to write) but time and energy have been lacking. Last week I was on vacation (yay!) and I took my laptop with the idea that I’d get caught up on posts there. Hah! I had some time while the baby napped, and the big kids were with their grandparents, but I was so exhausted that I didn’t do anything on the computer at all. The downside is I didn’t get caught up or even ahead on posting, but the plus is that I did recharge. 🙂

Saving CeeCee HoneycuttI also did a fair amount of reading – I finished As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust, Big Little Lies, and Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. I almost finished listening to Harry Potter #1, and made progress in You Are Not So Smart and Grace at Bender Springs. And of course I read each of the books I brought for my youngest about 100 times, because how can I resist her when she repeats “read?” “story?” “book?”

While I like going on vacation before the summer really starts – it wasn’t as hot, and it was much less crowded – now vacation is over and we’re still not finished with school, so it’s back to the regular routine. In many ways it would have felt more satisfying to finish the school year and then travel.

Ramona and Her FatherWe’ve only got five days left though, so G should wrap up everything this week. I’m still debating having him do some math during the summer, but I am definitely going to require him to do some reading every day. And of course I’m going to continue to read aloud to all of the kids throughout the summer. First on the agenda is Ramona and Her Father. G has loved the Ramona series, so usually as soon as we finish one we’ve moved into the next one. This summer I’m also looking at reading him some Astrid Lindgren, and Roald Dahl, and additional titles to be determined later. 🙂

Climbing the Mango TreesI’m also thinking about making myself a summer reading list. I’ve never done that before (at least since high school I haven’t) so I’m not sure why I’m considering it this year – maybe as a way of prioritizing my reading, since I am reading so much less lately? Book club titles would have to go on the list first, so that will be The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (as a readaloud to the big kids), Better Than Before (a reread), The Cuckoo’s Calling, Climbing the Mango Trees, The Slightly True Story of Cedar B. Hartley, and Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence. That takes me through August for all three of my bookclubs (I’ve already read the other three titles those clubs will be reading over the summer).

Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'dBeyond that, I’m not sure what I’ll end up prioritizing. I do want to read Stars Above, and I just got it from the library again after having to return it unread earlier this year. I’ve got lots of nonfiction on my TBR list, but I haven’t been in that much of a nonfiction reading mood. I’m looking forward to the latest Flavia de Luce mystery (Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d), but that’s not scheduled until September. September is also when Shauna Niequist’s new book Present Over Perfect is releasing, so that should be a nice month for new books!

Give Your Child the WorldThinking of new releases also reminds me that Jamie Martin’s book Give Your Children the World comes out next month! I preordered it ages ago, and it seemed like forever until it would be published. Now it’s only two more weeks, and I can’t wait to see it. I am such a sucker for book lists, and the sneak peek I saw of this one makes me think it’ll be fantastic. I’ve already got my daughter’s school books planned for her Kindergarten year, but I may be making some changes after flipping through this title.

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How to tell if you have a first edition copy of a book.

The Deliberate Reader 2015 Reader SurveyOne of the questions I received in my reader survey last year was
How to tell if I have a first edition copy of a book
?

First EditionThis can be really easy (sometimes) or really complicated (sometimes). It’s way beyond my expertise to go into all of the variations and possibilities, but here are some pointers:

First, be aware that sometimes people mean one thing when they say first edition (as in, the valuable copy of a book), but what they really mean is first printing. Any printing that is of the original edition is “first edition.”

Since I suspect what most people really mean when they wonder about a “first edition” is if they have the possibly valuable first printing, we’ll go forward with how to identify that.

You first want to look on the copyright page at the front of the book. On books published after World War II, you’ll see a set of numbers. The LOWEST number is the key one. If it’s a “1”, then you probably have a first printing.

Guernsey printing info

Definitely NOT a first edition, let alone a first printing. See that 12 that’s the lowest number?

first edition
But this one is a first printing. Note how numbers can sometimes count up and sometimes count down – the key is the lowest number of the string, not whether it’s first or last. But don’t get too excited for me about owning a First. It still isn’t a valuable book – all firsts are not created equal!

Why do I say you probably have a First? Because you also get into which printing is the “First” first printing – as in, the one that beat all the others. You can have a first US printing, and a first UK printing, and a first Canadian printing, but only the one that came to market before the others is the true First (very important capital “F” there), and generally the true First is the one that can be valuable.

For books published pre-World War II it gets more complicated, and that’s where I’m not going to try to get into all of the possibilities. However, here are some websites that go into more detail, and give specifics on how to tell which is the first edition by various presses:

AbeBooks – includes a video if you’d rather see it than read about it

Quill & Brush – with a lengthy list of publishers

Book Libris – provides some additional suggested resources for how to determine first edition status

Travelin Librarian – a guide to editions and printings

One other thing to note: translations can have their own copyright information, but the first printing of a translation is unlikely to be a valuable book. I’d say it’s never going to be a valuable book but I suppose there are some extra circumstances that might allow it to happen, so I’ll be safe and say “highly unlikely”.

Translation copyright

Finally, if you really want to get into book collecting, get a reference guide and read it – it’s much more involved than the surface glance I’ve given it here. Modern Book Collecting or Book Finds are good places to start if you’re a beginner, or just see what your library has on the topic.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!


Previously on The Deliberate Reader

Three years ago: Friday Link Love, Writing Edition

Reading Your Bookish Kryptonite

Last week I shared about the words and phrases that are my book description kryptonite: the ones that make me immediately put a book aside as not for me.
bookish kryptonite
(I also forgot a few, and was reminded of them in the comments. A second post about additional ones may be forthcoming, especially focused on cover kryptonite.)

But what about when you “have” to read a book that hits one of those otherwise red flags?

This month’s selection for my in-person book club is The Lake House by Kate Morton. I love Kate Morton’s books. I wanted to dive into this book.

Except: the description mentions a baby who has disappeared. Children being harmed is #1 on my “don’t read this” list. I put off reading the book for months, in part because I was dreading the read.

And then I finally picked the book up, faced my fears, and dove in.

Hours later, and waaaaaay past my bedtime, I closed the book. Yes, the central mystery of the book is one that I generally won’t read, but I am *so* glad I trusted Morton to not be too graphic.

While I’m not going to say that I’m going to start reading all of those books I don’t read, I am glad that I didn’t stick to my list without budging. I’d have missed out on a great book.

Now I’m wondering what other books I really should try, even if they are ones I’d usually ignore. 🙂

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!


Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: 5 Translated Novels I Want To Read, and 5 More I’m Considering

Memorable Gifts in Literature

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas – I’ll be back next week. Until then, enjoy this look at memorable gifts in literature.

Memorable Gifts from Literature

Infographic was created by Pack & Send, but I have no affiliation with them. I just liked the infographic, and they gave me permission to post it. Thanks Pack & Send!

Birthday Reading

The Truth According to UsToday’s my birthday, and while I can’t spend it reading all day long like I did once upon a time (as in, pre-children), I can still make an effort to have a book waiting for me that I think I’m sure to love.

This year, it’s The Truth According to Ushe Truth According to Us: A Novel by Annie Barrows by Annie Barrows. Yes, Annie Barrows, the co-author of my beloved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie SocietyThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows has a new book coming out next month and I got a review copy.

Because I’m a book nerd, I got curious about my previous birthday reads, so I looked in my book log (a.k.a. GoodReads) and found some of the highlights of years past:


2013: The Distant Hours (4 Stars)
And I’ve mentioned it on social media, but maybe not here: Kate Morton has a new book coming out this year – The Lake House! So exciting!

2012: Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic LifeDon't Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life by Sandra Beasley (3 Stars)
I remember feeling very amused reading a book with this title on my actual birthday. And feeling very grateful that I don’t have the severe food allergies the author has!

2011: nothing!
We were a couple weeks away from moving, and I was very pregnant with baby #2. I didn’t do much reading that month.

2010: The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More FunThe Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin (4 Stars)
If I’d thought to time it better, I could have read her new book this year on my birthday. But I just finished Better Than BeforeBetter Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin earlier in the month.

2009: The Contemplative Mom: Restoring Rich Relationship with God in the Midst of MotherhoodThe Contemplative Mom: Restoring Rich Relationship with God in the Midst of Motherhood by Ann Kroeker (3 Stars) and Heading Home With Your Newborn: From Birth to RealityHeading Home With Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality (4 Stars).
Why yes, I was due with my first baby the next month. Although he waited until the NEXT month to actually arrive. 😉

2006: To Live is Christ Leaders Guide: The Life and Ministry of PaulTo Live is Christ Leaders Guide: The Life and Ministry of Paul by Beth Moore (4 Stars)
I need to read more by Beth Moore – I don’t know why I stopped, as I always got a lot of out them.

2001 – EnduranceEndurance by F. A. Worsley (5 Stars)
Such a good book.


What surprises me with this is that in my mind, I’ve always made an effort to have a great book to read on my birthday. And apparently this wasn’t always the case (hence all the unlisted years above that consisted of ok or just good-but-not-great reads). Wonder what else I’m mis-remembering, or at least idealizing, when the reality is somewhat different. Or perhaps it’s just that I selected the books to read on my birthday thinking they’d be great, and then they didn’t always live up to those hopes. 🙂

Fingers crossed that this year’s book is as good as I’m hoping it will be!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!