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Suggestions & Questions > Import issue

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message 1: by Camilla (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:46PM) (new)

Camilla | 3 comments I'm trying to import a text file of books that consists of Title, Author, ISBN and Bookshelves, but Goodreads doesn't seem to be reading the shelf information. It is sticking all the books into the default "read" category. The sample import file unfortunately doesn't have the shelves field filled in, so I am not sure whether this is a problem with my formatting or with Goodreads itself.

I'd rather not shelve a thousand books via a graphical user interface... Please help!

message 2: by Liz M (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:48PM) (new)

Liz M | 243 comments Joanne,

I asked goodreads about this a while back when I was having the same problem with a csv file. Otis suggests removing all the books from your profile (from the import page, there is a link on the right) and reimporting the file. If that doesn't work, there are a few things that will make shelving all 1000 books a little easier.

If you can, break your text file into several files, one for each shelf. Import files one at a time. After you import each file go to the mybooks page. Across the top are several ways to view books: main, list, reviews, etc. Click on "edit" view. Sort the books by date added (this should group all the books from one text file together). Scroll down to the bottom & change the per page drop down box to 200. Back at the top, from the edit mode box you can select all (or you can go through the list & use the check boxes to select all the books that should be on the same shelf) & then use the drop down box to add up to 200 books at once to a specific bookshelf.

I hope this works for you as I am always interested in looking at such well-populated shelves!


message 3: by Otis, Chief Goodreader (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:49PM) (new)

Otis Chandler | 4184 comments Mod
Hi Joanne,

Not sure what the problem was, but we made a few tweaks so let us know if its fixed. If not, please email us a copy of the spreadsheet to

message 4: by Camilla (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:51PM) (new)

Camilla | 3 comments Thank you for the batch-edit suggestion, Liz! That will help things immensely. I've tried it with a small batch and it looks like a good work-around.

I'm not sure how interesting the shelves will be to look at... I swim mostly in the genre-fiction pool. But the quantity is starting to get impressive, even if the quality is suspect. ;)

message 5: by Camilla (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:51PM) (new)

Camilla | 3 comments Hi Otis. It still doesn't work for me. I've sent off an e-mail with the latest import file attached, as well as some other formats I've tried. If shelving works for other people, then it ought to be a formatting problem of some sort.

Thanks for taking a look!

message 6: by Otis, Chief Goodreader (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:54PM) (new)

Otis Chandler | 4184 comments Mod
Hi Joanne,

We just replied to your email, but make sure to title the column 'Bookshelves', and not 'shelves'. It should work then!

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