eBooks, libraries and Firefox add-ons

A while ago I discovered that my local library offers a large collection of eBook downloads for free. This is great for my Sony Reader (ignoring for the moment that DRM on Linux is painful and also that I really want a Kindle) and it means I’m constantly downloading books from the library. I quite like using the Amazon site for finding books because it offers that “other people also bought…” feature but it then becomes a pain to check if the book exists on the library site (most do not).

In an attempt to have a play with Jetpack, the new Firefox add-on environment that allows add-ons to be written in JavaScript, I decided to write a simple add-on to check the library site for matching books when I’m browsing Amazon. While doing this, I stumbled upon Open Library, a great site that is trying to create a single Web page for every book ever published. More importantly, it offers a handy HTTP API.

The add-on is in no way perfect but feel free to try it out by downloading from here. Go to an Amazon page (e.g. here) and you should see a link appear to the Hampshire Digital Library version of the book if one exists:

Source available on github.

1 thought on “eBooks, libraries and Firefox add-ons

  1. My local library uses Overdrive as well. I’ve been able to strip the DRM off these using ineptepub, so that I can read them on my Kindle. Only problem is that sometimes the epubs are corrupt – rather – the central directory in the zip is corrupt. This is easily worked around – unzip tells you which files had problems, what they named the file, and what other name of the file is – just mv from the new name to the old name, re-zip. Once fixed and de-DRMed, use calibre to convert to a mobi for the Kindle.

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