When you reference a book and want readers to be able to find more about it, it's common to link to Amazon. There are problems with Amazon being the default site for all books: by linking there you are basically recommending that your readers support Amazon and don't support your local bookstore.
So how about linking to Open Library instead whenever you mention a book, like the best novel ever? It's an evolving initiative with a fine mission: One web page for every book. It's got some quirks still – the treatment of books with many editions is a bit of an issue – but it's a great idea and it's noncommercial, which is hugely important for a common resource. You won't find much information there about most books, but you will find links to buy a book at some of the bigger online bookstores and to your local library catalogue if you're lucky.
Now if only they could link to your local bookshop, which should be possible for those who have online ordering stores like our neighbourhood one, I'd be very happy with it.
Obviously there's more work to be done there, but one way to get it done is to make people aware of it, and one way to do that is to link to it.
So spread the word: link books to their Open Library page.
Thanks! I’m saving the link.
I had actually been trying to at least use chapters.ca rather than Amazon – but this suits me perfectly!
Thanks — we’re working on the multiple-editions thing now. Also, we’d love a way to send traffic to local bookstores, if you know any that’d be willing to cooperate.
for local bookstore links – in the US at least – you could use indiebound.org. for instance, a link to that book you like. the ISBN focus of the link is a bit problematic, i don’t know if they have a title-search version as an alternative.
I had never heard of indiebound. That’s a fine initiative.
IndieBound does have a title search, which works pretty well. It gives 15 top titles and then directs you to the website of an independent bookstore near you with a full database.