Escaping the Walled Garden With Javascript

Daybreak 2250
I actually enjoyed the hours I spent logging my favorite books into the weRead app on Facebook. Reminiscing about those quirky scifi novels I read when I was younger was nice. The promise of seeing what my friends have read and how we match up with ratings was good motivation. I’m thinking even if this app is clunky and slow, the database is huge (thanks, Amazon) and the potential for social value is gigantic.

Unfortunately, I got sufficiently frustrated with this app and wanted to try the Google Books Library feature. Google asked me to paste a comma-separated list of ISBNs but it turns out weRead doesn’t support exporting the book shelf. Looking forward to more hours of searching and adding books to a new library? No. I have bugs to fix and beers to drink.

weRead has a comment in the FAQ which reads “We are working on a feature that will allow you to take your book list with you wherever you go.” The feature they’re talking about is called Take Your Bookshelf With You and basically just links to apps they’ve built for Facebook, Yahoo, Orkut, Myspace and hi5. Once you allow the app access to your profile their API lets you interact with your book collection through one of these interfaces. Not exactly what I would call an “export” feature.

Enter Greasemonkey. The free add-on for Firefox allows me to write a Javascript app that will export all the books from my weRead book shelf in ISBN or ASIN format.

Try it out