A lady on Mastodon named Cecily was looking for a way to get book descriptions for a list of books programmatically. That seemed like a good excuse to play with the Internet Archive’s Open Library API to see if it could do something like that. And it could.
It’s very simple. Put a list of books, one per line:
Click the search button. After a few seconds you will get a carat (^) delimited CSV file spat out to your computer. It’ll have the title in one side and the description on the other:
That’s it, that’s all it does. But if you’re trying to get book summaries together I guess it’ll save you a lot of time. It doesn’t have descriptions for every book I searched for, but it had a lot. It seems to do better with fiction than non-fiction.
I have made things based on suggestions before but this is the first time I went from someone asking to a working Gizmo in less than two hours. Because of that I haven’t done much tinkering with it, just put it up. I’ve done a little more work with the Open Library API and I have a nice little thing that pulls a little data and translates Dewey Decimal numbers at the hundred level, but I need a Gizmo for that. Until then I’ve tucked it away in a pile of script sketches.
Categories: RB Search Gizmos
Leave a Reply