Google is Beta-Testing Custom Shelves, Search Features

Do you like trying the newest features before anyone else?

I prefer tools that work, but for those who are more adventurous, Google announced a new Beta Features option for Play Books on Wednesday.

Only available via the Play Books website, Beta Features is designed to give users early access to experimental features that may lack a bit of polish, but could evolve, improve, disappear or transform into new Play Books updates.

The current beta features are all related to organizing your library, not reading it, which could explain why they are only available via the website. I checked, and there are three options at the moment:

  • Custom shelves
  • Searching/Sorting
  • a “Ready to Read” shelf

The latter two beta features didn’t work when I was testing them this afternoon, but the custom shelf feature was there. I was able to set up a shelf, and add books to it.

If you want to try the beta features, go to, click the Settings (gear) button in the upper right corner, and select “Beta Features” to get started. You will be shown a menu where you can toggle on one or all of the beta features.

And if you’d like to submit feedback on the Beta Features after you’ve tried them out, or want to send us a feature request you’ve been dreaming up, click on the Settings icon and then select Send Feedback.

p.S. Remember the new royalty option I reported about on Sunday? When you add that to the new beta features, all of a sudden it looks like Google is now interested in competing in the ebook market, doesn’t it?

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

1 Comment

  1. Steve H.15 August, 2019

    I am somewhat surprised they have not made more of a challenge to Amazon. I purchased a few books from them because they happened to be cheaper that Amazon(politics and reference).
    Amazon has built up a largely unseen lead in fiction exclusives. BUT. if they decided to put out a couple e-readers, they could really challenge…Kobo, Barnes and Noble and chip away at Amazon.


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