Goodreads Help: How to Mark A Book as Abandoned or Unfinished

One of my biggest pet peeves on Goodreads has been the inability to accurately mark a book as Abandoned. The three default shelves they provide are Read, Currently Reading, and Want to Read. Every book that you add to your Goodreads shelf has to fit into one of those categories.

But when I decide to abandon a book, those categories don’t quite fit. I don’t want to read it, I’m not currently reading it, and I haven’t technically read it all. So over the years I’ve tried a few different strategies. For a while, I’d mark it as read and also add it to my “did not finish” shelf without an end date — but that felt deceptive. Most recently I’ve been completely deleting them from my library, but that’s woefully disappointing since I sometimes want to write a few lines about why I abandoned the book.

But by golly – I’ve stumbled through the wilderness and figured it out. You simply have to add a new “exclusive” shelf to your library! Here’s how to do it.

1. Go to Your Goodreads Profile:

Log into Goodreads and navigate to your profile. You can do this by clicking on your avatar on the right side of your screen and then selecting Profile.

2. Click on “Feature a Different Shelf”

Just under your profile info and above the list of all of your shelves, you’ll see your featured shelf. Click on the link that says “Feature a different shelf.” There may be other ways to navigate to the next page but this is the only way that I’ve been able to find it!

3. Type the name of your new shelf and click “add”

Decide what you want to name your shelf and type it in the box that says add a shelf and then click “add.” You can name it whatever you want. I like abandoned, but you could choose unfinished, DNF, not for me, or how did this get published??! Whatever is best for you!

4. Find the new shelf on the list and click the checkbox for “exclusive.”

Now you can find your new shelf and click the box in the exclusive column. And that’s it! At this point, you can also change the shelf that is featured on your profile. For instance, I changed my featured shelf to my 2020 bookshelf – a list of all the books that I’ve read this year.

I am thrilled to have discovered this. It is really the last picture of the GoodReads puzzle for me. Let me know if you decide to do this and if these instructions are helpful.


18 thoughts on “Goodreads Help: How to Mark A Book as Abandoned or Unfinished

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  1. Thank you so much for this information! I not only was able to add the exclusive “abandoned” (I like that word, too) shelf, I was able to delete shelves I had created that were spelled wrong (!!) or never used. I found a whole new world under my profile picture! Good job, and thanks again!


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