RB Search Gizmos

I Hate People Lacking What They Need So I Made Cecily’s Book Tea

I spent last week and the weekend doing a lot of messing around with JavaScript and ended up, today, with three Gizmos I needed to write about. I titled the first article “I Hate Searching Google For News So I Created A Gizmo To Make It Better,” and as a joke at myself I decided to give the other two articles similar titles. So we’ll end the hate title trilogy today with a look at Cecily’s Book Tea,at https://searchgizmos.com/cecilys-book-tea/ .

Screenshot from 2023-03-06 14-01-04

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:

Screenshot from 2023-03-06 14-24-59

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:

Screenshot from 2023-03-06 14-28-45

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.

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