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Navigating Goodreads > Tips & Hints for Good Reads

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message 1: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 153 comments Mod
Thought it might be useful to have a place to go where people can share tips / hints on using this site.

I will copy/paste my remarks from the Roll Call thread to this one.


message 2: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 153 comments Mod
One thing I've noticed. Good Reads requires that you use the < and > when trying to bold or italicize, etc. While Shelfari will accept either the < > or [ ] ...

Another thing I DO like about this site is the ability to include a link to a book ... just above the comment area you'll see add book/author and you can click on that, search for the book and insert either just a link or the cover art into your message.

Similarly, if you can't remember the html code you can click on the (some html is ok) link above the message box and you'll get a menu to help.


message 3: by Book Concierge (last edited May 15, 2016 09:35AM) (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 153 comments Mod
On another group members who are viewing the discussions via their I-phones have commented that you cannot view the book covers with that app. So have asked specifically that people who insert the book cover also add the title / author text to their post.

e.g. Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brookes


message 4: by Michael (new)

Michael (mike999) | 10 comments I encourage more of you to try importing your books from Shelfari. The process has a lot of challenges. Shelfari output to csv misses a lot of ISBN numbers that must be added. You only need a few of the output columns from Shelfari to do the GR import.

I took the effort to import reviews and tags as well. Tags must be converted to hyphenated configuration with spaces between--cut and paste in Word (spaces to hyphens first, then commas between tags to spaces, then paste back into your spreadsheet with the other stuff). Shelfari doesn't export reviews, but they can be picked up from Shelfari review output cut and pasted into Excel boxes. Multiple paragraph reviews must be compressed to one. If Shelfari spreadsheet output is sorted by post date, there should be close alignment of sequence with that of reviews. A pain, but I succeeded in moving 1,600 books with ratings, tags, and read dates, including 600 plus reviews. A glitch is that apostrophes got converted to little boxes.


message 5: by LibraryCin (new)

LibraryCin | 194 comments This is a nice thread. Thanks!

Michael, you mentioned one or two tips in the other thread as well... I wonder if you want to copy them here, too? (Or I can, and attribute them to you, but I thought you might want to since you posted them originally. :-)

hmmm, looks like I had to uncheck that "update feed" thing again. Maybe it will be "sticky" for each thread, at least? (One can hope...)


message 6: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 153 comments Mod
LibraryCin wrote: "This is a nice thread. Thanks!

hmmm, looks like I had to uncheck that "update feed" thing again. Maybe it will be "sticky" for each thread, at least? (One can hope...) ..."


Oh, darn. I know there's a way on your profile to change your preferences to eliminate those feeds, but I'll be darned if I can remember how I did it. Drove me crazy until I figured it out.


PennsyLady (Bev) (pennsylady) | 28 comments hmmm, looks like I had to uncheck that "update feed" thing again. Maybe it will be "sticky" for each thread, at least? (One can hope...) ..."

Hopefully edit profile
Feeds
Uncheck ....keeps your choices


message 8: by Michael (new)

Michael (mike999) | 10 comments FYI: You are allowed to post up to 20 photos in your profiles area. Like reviews, it's accepted practice to post comments on them or even have a discussion there.

It's unfortunate how a bunch of often trivial comments stay around indefinitely. But you get used to tuning such banter out when you run across it. Always check the date or you may find yourself responding to something really old (even on Shelfari I sometimes could miss the year of a date stamp). As I noted on the other thread, uncheck "add to update feed" when you don't want all your friends notified by a minor entry.

It's very handy how any view of a shelf can be sorted by various fields and be subject to searches. Also handy, you can specify fields shown in a shelf listing, notably reviews.

It's too bad GR folks don't use tags ("shelf" in GR terms) more often, which would help in surveying contnet of interest in someone's shelf. If you use tags inconsistently or mispelled versions, you can readily clear that up by the "edit shelves" feature. E.g. you can detect use of "world-war-2" and "ww2", then switch the tags for mis-tagged books followed by deleting the tag you don't want (otherwise the unused tags hang around).


message 9: by Marie (new)

Marie | 4 comments I just joined this site and hope to import all the books on my Shelfari shelf. Can someone tell me how to do it? I'm not very computer savvy but can (with the right directions) do some stuff. In Michael's comment (above), I believe he's talking about the tags added to books and the reviews. Once I've actually imported my books, I'll worry about those, but they surely are valuable to me.


message 10: by LibraryCin (new)

LibraryCin | 194 comments PennsyGal wrote: "Hopefully edit profile
Feeds
Uncheck ....keeps your choices "


Thank you! I guess I hadn't looked through all the edit profile options yet.


message 11: by Michael (new)

Michael (mike999) | 10 comments Marie wrote: "I just joined this site and hope to import all the books on my Shelfari shelf...."
In Shelfari under profile, click Shelf tab, then Download books. The file is a TSM file (if I remember correctly). If in file manager you right click on it and "Import With" and Excel, it will import it. You must edit the file down. In GoodReads home page in middle right open "Your Books". Download/open the sample format file. Your Shelfari output file must match that format with the same headings for the columns you use. Missing ISBN numbers must be pasted from some source (like Amazon). When file is ready save the current sheet as a csv file in the output format (GR does better with them than Excel format).

If you want Shelfari tags done as I noted earlier, you can do them later. I think you only need ISBN numbers to identify which GR books to pair them with.


message 12: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (trakka) | 38 comments Thanks Michael. I have downloaded / uploaded my books and it was actually easier than I thought! Now feel better with a backup as I would hate to lose my shelf after building it up.


message 13: by Marie (new)

Marie | 4 comments I had my son (he's my computer guru) help me but only 1679 books (out of over 1800) downloaded. We have no idea how to get the others to download, but I did find the results of the import. 150 ISBNs didn't import. I printed out a list of them (3 pgs) and will attempt to add them, somehow! It says 50 books are "still being processed" and I have no idea what that means. But each time (we tried it twice) the page time - Goodreads - expired. What else to do? Anyone know?


message 14: by Michael (new)

Michael (mike999) | 10 comments Marie wrote: "...150 ISBNs didn't import. I printed out a list of them (3 pgs) and will attempt to add them, somehow..." As I said, that tracking down ISBN numbers for quite a few books is a necessary pain. Cutting and pasting from Amazon look-ups is the route I took. Still a great feat to get 90% in the GR hoppe!


message 15: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sawcat) | 4 comments If you want a chance at getting an early review copy (galley or arc), or possible finished copy for review, click on the down arrow, and then giveaways (2nd from top). And Luck to you if you try!


message 16: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sawcat) | 4 comments Marie wrote: "I had my son (he's my computer guru) help me but only 1679 books (out of over 1800) downloaded. We have no idea how to get the others to download, but I did find the results of the import. 150 IS..."

Have you tried taking the CSV file, making a copy and deleting all rows for the books that uploaded successfully (edit it in Excel or a spreadsheet program, but keep the file extension). Then try to upload that file of 150 books. If it truly is just a timeout due to file size, or processing time, that should work.


message 17: by LibraryCin (new)

LibraryCin | 194 comments Does anyone know how to delete a "tag" (shelf) here? There is a typo and I added it accidentally, and now I can't figure out how to delete it. Thanks!


message 18: by LibraryCin (new)

LibraryCin | 194 comments LibraryCin wrote: "Does anyone know how to delete a "tag" (shelf) here? There is a typo and I added it accidentally, and now I can't figure out how to delete it. Thanks!"

Of course, as soon as I asked, I looked again and found it! In case anyone else wants to know, on your My Books page, on the left side, it lists all your "shelves" (i.e. tags). At the top of that list, you can click "edit". It's in there that you can delete a tag/shelf.


message 19: by LibraryCin (new)

LibraryCin | 194 comments Well, I think I'm going to attempt to import my books from shelfari. I got my books exported about a week ago. I think we'll see how it goes, if I can figure out how to upload them here... I know there will be cleanup (especially because there will be repeats. I have anything I've read since I signed up here already here, plus I've added some of the books from my tbr here already). I guess I'll have to manually add my reviews as well, but first things first. Figure out how to import them!


message 20: by LibraryCin (last edited Oct 20, 2012 02:55PM) (new)

LibraryCin | 194 comments Wow, that was pretty much an "epic fail". I have over 1400 books on shelfari, and this is what goodreads is telling me:

Import Results

6 books still being processed.
45 books successfully imported. See all your books.
1 book were already on your shelves. We updated your ratings, reviews, and other information where possible.
92 books could not be imported.

(Although it says 6 books still being imported, it has probably said that for about half an hour now. What happened to my other 1300 books!)

Guess it will all be manual, anyway, then. And I'll have to figure out which ones are already there. If I search each one separately, is it easy to tell if it's already on my shelf?


message 21: by LibraryCin (new)

LibraryCin | 194 comments LibraryCin wrote: "I guess I'll have to manually add my reviews as well,"

I suspect I'll have to add all my tags, too? Especially since they are a little different here. Sigh... lots of work to go...


message 22: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 153 comments Mod
LibraryCin wrote: "I suspect I'll have to add all my tags, too? Especially since they are a little different here. Sigh... lots of work to go..."

I don't use the "tags" (i.e. "shelves") here at all. No interest in trying to recreate that info.

By the way ... and I have no idea if this impacts importing from Shelfari ... GoodReads does NOT allow multiple dates read. If you re-read a book you can either make a notation or you can update the date read (which will wipe out your original date read).


message 23: by Michael (new)

Michael (mike999) | 10 comments LibraryCin wrote: "LibraryCin wrote: "I guess I'll have to manually add my reviews as well. I suspect I'll have to add all my tags, too? ..."
I'm sorry you had so much trouble. I did an import of 1,600 and found I had to split it into about 700 at a time, csc format not xls. Only books with ISBN numbers will import, I believe. That's where the had work lies.

Let me know what of message 3 0r 12 gave you trouble. Tags are all there in the Shelfari export. Select all the cells with tags, paste into word as text "Paste As-->Special-->unformatted"). Search for " " {space] and replace all with hyphens, then search and replace all commas with a single space. Copy and paste all the tag back in a new column in your spreadsheet. Check if alignment is still valid. I believe all books with rating get "read" added as a tag. I didn't try to import TBR, so I am not sure if tag to-read gets added for books without rating and/or date read.

Shelfari allows you to see all your reviews. It will be in the same sequence of date read as the default output sequence in the export. If reviews as text are pasted into single cells with ISBN # in a parallel column it will import. Not really "manual" if you accurately line the reviews up with the right book IDs, doing 10 or 20 at a time and adjusting the line-up for books without reviews. The problem is that paragraphs must be removed so it can fit in a cell. You could edit ones that count later in GR and add hard returns back.


message 24: by LibraryCin (new)

LibraryCin | 194 comments Thank you both, BC and Michael, for your suggestions. Michael, I'm not sure when I'll take time to look at it again, but I think I'll have to actually do it as I read what you've suggested, because simply reading trough your message isn't making sense! If I follow along as I go, hopefully that will help. I can't imagine only 150 (or so) of my 1400 books having an isbn, so I'm sure that's not the problem. Although of the 92 "that could not be imported", it listed the "isbns", some of which looked like they had more than 10 or 13 digits. And some looked very odd... (multiple 5s in a row or multiple 2s in a row). I'm not sure what happened there, but I'll have to look again.

Thanks again.


message 25: by LibraryCin (last edited Nov 13, 2012 07:15PM) (new)

LibraryCin | 194 comments Michael wrote: "I'm sorry you had so much trouble. I did an import of 1,600 and found I had to split it into about 700 at a time, csc format not xls. Only books with ISBN numbers will import, I believe. That's where the had work lies."

Ok, as I reread some of your suggestions in importing from shelfari to here, if I decide to try again, let me clarify a few things.

I don't know why the isbns are so messed up in what I exported from shelfari, but so many of them aren't 10 or 13 numbers! Not sure what happened there, but if I'm understanding your suggestions correctly, before I try importing again, I'll want to fix those. Find the proper isbns and copy/paste those into the proper column.

Now, a question about the file type. You've said it should be a csc format, not xls. Of course, it is saved as xls. Can I just change the extension or do I have to change something else to "convert" it to a csc file? (I don't know what a csc file is.) I am not using Excel, but LibreOffice (Open Office), if that makes a difference (or if you even know!)

I'll worry about tags/shelves and reviews later (although I've already manually added in the ones that actually imported the first time around).

Speaking of that, I guess I should edit those out? The ones that actually properly imported the first time? Wow, there's a lot of manual editing to even just import your shelf... Sigh.

Thanks again!


message 26: by LibraryCin (new)

LibraryCin | 194 comments LibraryCin wrote: "Can I just change the extension or do I have to change something else to "convert" it to a csc file? (I don't know what a csc file is.) I am not using Excel, but LibreOffice (Open Office), if that makes a difference (or if you even know!)"

I just tried a "Save as" and I don't see csc as an option under file type. csv (Text csv) is, along with lots of other stuff.


message 27: by Lady ♥ Belleza (new)

Lady ♥ Belleza (bella_foxx) Book Concierge wrote: "On another group members who are viewing the discussions via their I-phones have commented that you cannot view the book covers with that ap. So have asked specifically that people who insert the ..."

Must have had an upgrade since this post since I can now see book covers on my iPhone.


message 28: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 77 comments ♥Bella★✰ wrote: "Book Concierge wrote: "On another group members who are viewing the discussions via their I-phones have commented that you cannot view the book covers with that ap. So have asked specifically that..."

I think it is easier and more natural to read the book title and author written out than to be reading a sentence and then have a picture thrown in. I think it is nice to see the book but that could be left for the end or the beginning. The pictures do show up on the i phone.


message 29: by Lady ♥ Belleza (last edited Nov 20, 2012 08:59AM) (new)

Lady ♥ Belleza (bella_foxx) Kristel wrote: "I think it is easier and more natural to read the book title and author written out than to be reading a sentence and then have a picture thrown in. I think it is nice to see the book but that could be left for the end or the beginning. The pictures do show up on the i phone. "

You have a valid point, I usually try to do both picture and title but never thought about putting the picture at the end or beginning. That's a good idea.


message 30: by Deborah (new)

Deborah O'Regan | 14 comments Michael wrote: "Marie wrote: "I just joined this site and hope to import all the books on my Shelfari shelf...."
In Shelfari under profile, click Shelf tab, then Download books. The file is a TSM file (if I remem..."


Thanks guys.... I did the import and it worked!! Yeah!!
11 not gone up but 295 did so I'll get over that!

Thanks again


message 31: by Megalion (new)

Megalion | 23 comments Question for Michael.

Shelfari doesn't export reviews, but they can be picked up from Shelfari review output cut and pasted into Excel boxes.

Where is the Shelfari review output? I'm fine with manipulating the *.tsv file it gave me and I was relieved to see that you found a way to get reviews but I'm not familiar with any review output. Is it an RSS feed of my shelf?

If you, or someone, could clarify what/where this is, I'd appreciate it!


message 32: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (trakka) | 38 comments ♥Bella★✰ wrote: ".Must have had an upgrade since this post since I can now see book covers on my iPhone.."

I can see pictures on my iPad but not Samsung Galaxy III so I appreciate it when people include the title link as well!


message 33: by Samantha (new)

Samantha (thesammylife) Hello,

I was wondering if anyone on here knew a quick and easy way to get multiple read dates/read counts from Shelfari imported into GoodReads? I don't have a massive library, but I have taken to re-reading a lot of my books multiple times, and I would very much like to keep all that data here on GoodReads.

Thanks,
Samantha.


message 34: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sawcat) | 4 comments Samantha wrote: "Hello,

I was wondering if anyone on here knew a quick and easy way to get multiple read dates/read counts from Shelfari imported into GoodReads? I don't have a massive library, but I have taken ..."


If you add different editions to your shelf, it will let you put in separate dates for it. Or you could try devising some sort of custom shelf system for yourself.


message 35: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 153 comments Mod
Samantha wrote: "Hello,

I was wondering if anyone on here knew a quick and easy way to get multiple read dates/read counts from Shelfari imported into GoodReads? I don't have a massive library, but I have taken ..."


The Good Reads data base does not allow you to list multiple "date read" for a single book. This annoys me when I re-read. What I usually do is add to my review with something like "UPDATE 31Dec12: ..."

You can also, as Sarah suggested, put multiple editions of the book on your shelf and that will allow you to add the new date.


message 36: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 153 comments Mod
Does anyone know how to get to the list of "top shelves" (like we have our list of "top tags" over on Shelfari)?


message 37: by Linda C (new)

Linda C (libladynylindac) Book Concierge wrote: "Does anyone know how to get to the list of "top shelves" (like we have our list of "top tags" over on Shelfari)?"

Here's the link Goodreads top shelves


message 38: by [deleted user] (last edited Dec 10, 2013 02:35PM) (new)

Where in our group do we post our reviews? Or do we? Are members allowed to add a new "discussion"?


message 39: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 153 comments Mod
Library-KAT wrote: "Where in our group do we post our reviews? Or do we? Are members allowed to add a new "discussion"?"

Feel free to start a discussion thread for reviews, Auntie ....

But this group has mostly been so that people who are members of Shelfari have somewhere to go when Shelfari is having problems, or when they have trouble navigating GoodReads and someone else might be able to point them in the right direction.


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

Book Concierge wrote: "Library-KAT wrote: "Where in our group do we post our reviews? Or do we? Are members allowed to add a new "discussion"?"

Feel free to start a discussion thread for reviews, Auntie ....

But this g..."


Ok... I'll try to figure that out.....


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