If you’ve ever talked to me about books and reading, then there’s chance that I’ve brought up GoodReads and how I’m pretty active there. I can’t claim so active that I’m updating daily. I do, however, make sure to keep my current book statuses accurate.

On the flip-side, as highlighted by my site here, I do also like owning my own data when I can manage. I’ve been mulling about the fact that GoodReads-like book status tracking could be pretty easily done within WordPress. It wasn’t until just this week that I started to actively pursue that idea.

There was a recent IndieWebCamp West session regarding books and reading and various challenges faced by people similar to me. It was during this video that I was watching, that I finally started looking at a given GoodReads status and book listing in relation to myself, that I began mapping out how and where to store all my interested data. The video can be seen here for those interested: https://archive.org/details/iwc-west-2020-books-and-reading

I won’t go into details for each part, but I found that a mix of post details, post meta, custom taxonomies, and comments will meet my needs pretty well. These will cover if I’m reading, want to read, have read, associated shelves, current pages out of total pages, start and end dates, ISBN, genres, book authors and other various parts. Comments will serve as reviews, rating meta, and annotations. Featured images are perfect for book covers.

All in all, and fully in theme, I’ve named this custom plugin “Pirate Book Chest” cause of course as a “pirate” I would keep them in various chests, and not shelves. Shelves on a pirate ship…please.

Thus far, I’ve only published one book and filled in what details I have. It can be found at https://apiratelifefor.me/book/lurking/. I also have not yet started working on styling/templating, so it’s very much raw data. It’s a work in progress, and that’s fine.

Based on structures and content types I’ve set up, I foresee a lot of potential archives and ways to browse my listings, likely in more ways than offered by GoodReads themselves. These include current reading status, by shelf, by dates read, genre, rating, book author, and potentially more.

Up next definitely needs to be the templating and styling. I also want to make sure that each area is rich in microformat data in every appropriate way possible..

We’ll see how this goes.

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