Tag Archives: books

Faster book covers

We did some performance and stability improvements to covers.openlibrary.org recently. Accessing book covers by ISBNs is quite faster now than before.

The covers.openlibrary.org website used to face intermittent internal errors  because of memory leaks in the fastcgi library that was used. We switched to gunicorn server now and that solved this issue.

Please be aware that the OL covers API is intended for displaying book covers in other websites and not for bulk download. If you need to download book covers in bulk, please get in touch with us, we’ll be glad to help!

Reading Animals

The Library at Night is one of my favourite books. It’s strongly influenced my thinking here at Open Library, and I definitely recommend you read it. I was excited to learn this morning via @MargaretAtwood that Mr. Manguel has released a new book, All Men Are Liars. (Review on acommonreader.org.)

As I was wandering about his website, I stumbled on this passage by Jean-Luc Terradillos on alberto.manguel.com, which I think bears repeating…

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Easy permanent links to book page images

We just launched a new image permalinks feature for downloading and linking to page images of books hosted on the Internet Archive. Using a page image permalink makes it easier to references the contents of a book hosted on the Archive without having to know the details of how or where the book is stored. Since a book’s data could be moved around within the multiple petabytes of data in the Archive at any time the permalinks provide a consistent and stable way to access the page images.

Here are a few quick examples. For each of these URLs you would add http://www.archive.org/download/{item identifier} to the beginning (hover over an image to see its full URL).

Referencing the cover image for a book at thumbnail size:

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To The Viscountess Wolseley

MADAME, it is no modish thing,
The bookman’s tribute that I bring ;
A talk of antiquaries grey,
Dust unto dust this many a day,
Gossip of texts and bindings old,
Of faded type, and tarnish’d gold !

Can ladies care for this to-do
With Payne, Derome, and Padeloup ?
Can they resign the rout, the ball,
For lonely joys of shelf and stall?

The critic thus, serenely wise ;
But you can read with other eyes,
Whose books and bindings treasured are
‘Midst mingled spoils of peace and war ;
Shields from the fights the Mahdi lost,
And trinkets from the Golden Coast,
And many things divinely done
By Chippendale and Sheraton,

And trophies of Egyptian deeds,
And fans, and plates, and Aggrey beads,
Pomander boxes, assegais,
And sword-hilts worn in Marlbro’s days.

In this pell-mell of old and new,
Of war and peace, my essays, too,
For long in serials tempest-tost,
Are landed now, and are not lost :
Nay, on your shelf secure they lie,
As in the amber sleeps the fly.
‘Tis true, they are not ” rich nor rare ; ”
Enough, for me, that they are there !

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