Having spent yesterday grumping because the wordpress.com policy of no plugins meant I couldn’t add a book list to my sidebar, I stumbled acros a posting by Amyth called Adding LibraryThing Book list to WordPress.com blogs
Once I’d worked out that the way to add arbitrary code to my sidebar was to drag a ‘Text 1’ widget in from the widgets menu it was all very straightforward. The only gotcha I spotted is that if you edit a text 1 widget in situ it does seem to have a nasty habit of changing all your & to & amp ;. I resorted to editing the code in textpad and pasting back in.
I wanted to split my books into those I’d read those I’d read, the ones I was currently reading and those I’ve yet to read. In LibraryThing. To achieve this I tagged my books as ‘planned’ ‘read’ or ‘reading’ and then filtered by the tag using ‘tag=read’ or ‘tag=planned’ in the sample below. The full list of widget options can be found here: My final code looks like:
<a href="http://www.librarything.com/catalog.php?view=groundhogdad"> <img border="0" src="http://www.librarything.com/gwidget/widget.php?view=groundhogdad&tag=read&type=random&font=Verdana&num=10&width=180&top=Random%20selection%20of%20books%20I've%20read%20and%20enjoyed&fsize=8" mce_src="http://www.librarything.com/gwidget/widget.php?view=groundhogdad&tag=read&type=random&font=Verdana&num=10&width=180&top=Random%20selection%20of%20books%20I've%20read%20and%20enjoyed&fsize=8"></a> This was the first time I’ve heard of Library Thing, but having tried it out
I would heartily recommend it as a system. Adding and tagging new books couldn’t be simpler and the service is completely free. All they ask is user-name and password – you don’t even have to give an email address. To give myself something to play with I added in and tagged a selection of books from a list I’d made of books I wanted to read for work. My reading habits aren’t quite as unbalanced as the list currently suggests. More work needed, but it gives me enough to move forward with sorting through my random reading lists and scribbled notes and turning them into something more coherent.