Adding LibraryThing Book list to WordPress.com blogs

Now, I don’t know how important it would be to people, but I had a tough time trying to figure out how to enable a LibraryThing widget on the sidebar of my WordPress.com blog (since No java-scripts are enabled). Finally, after browsing forums and with help from ngilmour, I managed to have “Random books from my Library” on my sidebar in the form of an image which links to the My LibraryThing catalog.

Here’s the code:

<a href=”http://www.librarything.com/catalog.php?view=amithar”>
<img src=”http://www.librarything.com/gwidget/widget.php?
view=amithar&type=random&font=verdana&num=5&tag=random
&width=180&top=Random Books from my Library&fsize=8></a>

All of this might give you the impression that I am a major bibliophile – Although that’s not completely untrue (I do enjoy reading books), I don’t eat, sleep and live books the way a typical bibliophile would – but then, neither do i claim my love for books to put on an act of psuedo-intellectualism.

Ok, enough of BS now, I am currently reading “The Undercover Economist” by Tim Harford. — Another one of the books on “popular economics”. I earlier read the widely read and recommended Freakonomics by Stephen D. Levitt. Although the book was written in a nice conversational style – a tone that most of books of this genre have adopted – it is a little too America-centric. All the examples are about recent / past economic phenomenon relating to America. I don’t exactly have a problem with that but the point is that I am much more at ease digesting examples like Starbucks and pharmacuetical companies (that The Undercover Economist talks about) than the Ku Klux Klan and drug-peddlers that Levitt generously uses as examples to drive home his points in Freakonomics.

Next on my book wish-list: Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers by Robert Scoble. I had a tough time dealing with the Rediff Customer Care over some Shipping and Delivery Issues. Eventually I decided not to bother myself too much with it for the time being and contact Wiley India – the publishers. Feedback about the book would be appreciated.

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20 thoughts on “Adding LibraryThing Book list to WordPress.com blogs

  1. Hey, I’m surprised that you have Scoble’s book on your reading list…Umm..I would never read it, esp. after following his blog since the past year or so. His writing is deteriorating on a daily basis. Totally sucks.

  2. @ Ashish

    Welcome … 🙂 Me too.. Good is food, after all.. ! [:D]..

    @ Pure..

    It was difficult to put it becoz LibraryThing offers a “Javascript” widget and ALL Javascript widgets are disabled on the WordPress sidebar.. so this one that I have is an automatic HTML image-generator.

    The Facebook bookshelf is good.. I had thought of it too, but then it is specifically a facebook app. – not offered as an independent service..

  3. @ ngilmour

    Thanks for dropping by! 🙂 .. and thanks for the tip!

    @ Ruhi

    Yeah. A lot of people have the same opinion about Scoble. I havent been a regular reader of his blog, so I wudnt know.. which is why i “solicited” opinions.. :)..

  4. Well, I am a bibliophile too. But I would hardly venture to read self-help and economic books. Well. I also want to see how Scoble’s book is. Blogging may suck because there is marketing interest. And there are daily pressures of blogging. Who knows book is ok?

  5. Yeah.. Me into non-fiction.. not self-help books.. but Business / Economics is something that has caught my fancy of late!

    Also Business Communication is evolving with Corporates jumping onto the Blogging band-wagon. Which is why, without being judgmental about Scoble’s opinion about technology, I am keen on reading what he has to say about Blogging (having been a “successful” blogger himself for quite a while now!)

  6. Hehaeae…! 😀

    At the cost of playing with words, even some Fiction books contain a lot of Non-fiction.. A case in point being Da Vince Code.. Where the fiction ends and non-fiction begins is Anybody’s Guess!

  7. Hello, dear Amit H. !

    1st I have thought to test your tip on my own WP system, which I have installed on an own web server of Siteground.com, excellent prize-service-range after using more than 2 years the cost free wordpress.com (see http://radioblog.india-meets-classic.net ).

    After a deeper research I found an alternative for a book list, which links same WorldCat, LibraryThing, Google Books and BookFinder. It is set up on the database of OpenBook project (part project of Internet Archive) – http://openlibrary.org.

    I think, it gives more flexibility, same in Openlibrary.org are listed the links to online shops (e.g. Amazon, Barnes & Nobles…) and book borrowers… and as it is set up as Wiki you can participate on your own to edit the book archive.

    I just have set up a test version. Here is the result with a short book list in my test blog… http://radioblog-test1.india-meets-classic.net/books/

    The download link of the plugin is…
    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/openbook-book-data/

    (Rec.: Don’t swap to the WP theme under same name if you use Google.)

    The installing of the plugin was easy going, actually I use WP 2.8.2 version… It can be used as widget in the side navigation bar, too. Yet have not tested. Maybe it looks like as positioned on the blog of the programmer John Miedema…
    http://johnmiedema.ca/openbook-wordpress-plugin/

    At all there exist three standard versions, available ready to use. In my test version I used the “default one” and changed the medium to small cover size images*.

    Maybe you like to test it… Let me know what you think about !

    You can download the zip file from here:

    Warm greetings to my beloved India…. Chilly weekend, take care – ElJay from Europe/North Germany (Hamburg)

    _______________________________

    *) People who like to adapt this WP plugin can re-programme individually the source code of 3 standard template forms. Little bit knowledge in CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is required…

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