August 24, 2007

On books and my LibraryThing widget

There's something that bugs me about my blog--my LibraryThing widget links to, when almost none of the books in the widget have pages on that site.

So when you see an interesting cover and you try to click it, you get.... nothing.

The reason is simple--the widget code is provided by LibraryThing, and the vast majority of their covers come from Amazon. In turn, Amazon's terms of use are simple: use our cover images, link to our site. So LT assumes (and the statistics are on their side here) that your covers mostly come from Amazon.

But I've limited my widget to books in Thai or otherwise related to Thailand. And I got almost none of those cover images from Amazon. I've scanned and uploaded 800+ covers to LibraryThing. In fact, I started scanning and uploaded all of my book covers, Thai and otherwise, after I joined LibraryThing. I liked the idea of seeing the cover of my exact copy on my virtual bookshelf. I enjoyed progressing toward the goal of cataloging my entire library. I finished the cataloging last year some time, and now I just add books as I buy them.

The point of all this is that I want to apologize to everyone who has been tricked into clicking on dead Amazon links by the widget. Allow me to point you to a "shelf view" of my Thai books directly in LibraryThing. The covers are somewhat bigger, which is nice, and you can click through to the "info" link to find out more. Title, author, ISBN, publication data that sort of thing. (If you want still larger versions of my book covers, head here.)

In other book news, I plan to start a new feature where I profile Thai books on the blog. These will be kind of like reviews, but focused (at least at first) on books about the Thai language. High (perhaps even first) on my list is คลังคำ, a rather unconventional dictionary. My aim is to introduce you to good books you may not be familiar with, or even aware of.


  1. I'm looking forward to your book recommendations. It would also be nice if you could write a post about the way you started learning Thai, mentioning the book or books that you found most helpful and also any particular method, trick, activity or habit that could help other people interested in learning Thai.

  2. I think I'll have to wait until I'm back from my trip to start writing book profiles (they won't always be recommendations), but writing about how I got started learning Thai is a great suggestion for a post I can write on the road. No research necessary. Look for that soon. :)