I finally have a working publicly-available version of the Goodreads Library Lookup project I’ve been working on for the past few weeks.
This tool retrieves a Goodreads member’s “to-read” shelf and checks to see if the books are available to check out from the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library and the King County Library System‘s eBook collections.
Just copy the numerical User ID in your Goodreads’ profile URL and paste it into the search field.
I chose this project mainly as a way of getting my feet wet with a number of new concepts:
The webpages are generated using Django, which gave me a chance to get my feet wet with the Django templating system. One word: Incredible! The stuff you can do with the Django templating system is really impressive and I am really looking forward to working with it more in the future. I worked with PHP for years, but other than WordPress, never got much exposure to working with template engines.
The site uses the library-lookup module I wrote to perform the grunt work of both retrieving the list of books from Goodreads (via their API) and gathering search results from Amazon and the King County Library System. The Amazon search is done through the Amazon API, while the KCLS search is done through old-fashioned web scraping. Since the web-scraping takes a minute or two to execute, I chose to load the search results via AJAX using jQuery.
Learning to use jQuery was fairly easy, but because I am so new to Django views and templates, it took a bit of trial and error to wrap my brain around how to integrate jQuery.