View Single Post
Old 02-28-2011, 06:28 PM   #9
msr began at the beginning.
Posts: 20
Karma: 10
Join Date: Jul 2009
Device: Kindle2
Originally Posted by kiwidude View Post
Thanks for posting the further detail on this. I'm pretty new to Goodreads myself so I don't know exactly how people use it outside of the status type shelves.
I'm a bit of a Goodreads junkie and fairly active on the site, so have a bit of a different perspective.

Just so I understand - these 120 shelves you have - you created each of them and they only contain books you have put on them?

I am familiar with the shelves as tags concept - in fact the Goodreads metadata plugin I wrote uses exactly this to populate tags in Calibre with a mapping between. However it uses the "popular shelves" for the book displayed on the book page, so a shelf called "science-fiction" or whatever. I had just assumed now seemingly incorrectly that "science-fiction" was some sort of communal shelf name. Is it instead the case that each user has had to create their own "science-fiction" shelf and Goodreads is just recognising the same shelf name from individual users and consolidating the results?
Yes, exactly. This is why there are so many shelves of very similar (in fact virtually synonymous) names. Some people prefer "science-fiction", others prefer "sci-fi", others "scifi", others "sf". Some lump fantasy in with SF, some separate it (leading to "sci-fi-fantasy", "scifi-fantasy", "sff", "fantasy-scifi", etc.). Then there are spelling variants due to country (e.g., favorite vs. favourite) or plurality (e.g., "ebook" and "ebooks" are both in the top 50 in usage; "e-book" and "e-books" are also in the top 100). Goodreads users appear to have designated over 426k tags (not all of which are actually in current use).

If you go to the shelves listed by popularity on Goodreads you can see a lot of these. For example: "2010", "read-in-2010", "read-2010", and "2010-reads" are all in the top 75 or so, yet are essentially the same shelf. Goodreads doesn't designate specific shelf names (other than read, to-read, currently-reading...and perhaps wishlist?) because they want users to have the flexibility to choose what they will. However, they are working on a method for synonymizing certain names in the background since the huge numbers of synonyms does detract from certain obvious sorts of meta-data compilation.

So my Goodreads metadata plugin is an attempt to get the "popular" shelves for a book as tags, whereas what you are asking for is to allow you to use your own shelves for a book as tags, right?

I can see that being useful for people like yourself who have made the effort on Goodreads (compared to others like myself who just maintain a tag in Calibre). I agree on not necessarily wanting a 1:1 mapping with Calibre tags, you would probably want a customisable version of the mapping approach I did for the metadata plugin. It would default to listing all your shelf names for a 1:1, then you would delete from the mapping list any shelves you did not want as tags, and optionally assign Calibre specific tag names to ones you want translated.
That would certainly be a reasonable approach. Thanks for considering this.
msr is offline   Reply With Quote