How to make books count in Epilogue’s reading goal?

I love the new plug-in summarising what you read in 2022!

I only started with micro.blog partway through this year so I was wondering if anyone could explain exactly what ensures books are included Epilogue’s reading goal 2022 count.

I understand you have to blog about them for them to count, but does it matter how you do that?

Eg:

  • Do you have to use the Epilogue app to write the post?
  • Do you have to use the default text? ("Finished reading: … :books: ")
  • Does each book need to have a separate post or can you blog about several in the same one and they’ll all get picked up?
  • I assume you have to include a link to micro.blog’s page for that book - eg isbn

Thanks for any insights!

Thanks for asking this because we need to write up better documentation for how it works. I’ll answer each one of your points here:

  • No. You can write the post in any app or just Micro.blog on the web.
  • Sort of. Micro.blog expects the blog post will contain the name of your “Finished reading” bookshelf. If you rename that bookshelf to something else, it will still work. But it has to have something so it can tell the difference between blog posts where you finished a book vs. a “Want to read” post.
  • Yes. Unfortunately it only checks the first book link in a post. This would be a nice improvement to allow multiple books in the same post.
  • Yes. It uses that book URL format to find the ISBN and record it. I would like to improve this to not require the link.
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I should add… We probably need another way to add books to the goals list, for cases like you mentioned where you didn’t blog about everything you finished. I think blogging should still be the primary way of collecting the list, but it would be nice to add other books manually that were missed.

Thanks for all the details, super informative and makes sense!

I guess the main problem is just for those of us who only quite recently started with micro.blog.

In the short term I guess I can just fairly quickly add the basic “Finished reading:” posts that epilogue generates and re-date them to a time before I had my blog if I want to include them (I already added them to the finished reading bookshelf), and next year of course be sure to blog every book as I finish it.

The second bullet is good to know - I guess if you change the name of the Finished reading bookshelf after the fact you might lose the existing entries if you don’t also have the new name in your posts (but I can’t imagine that’s a common use-case, it’s not something I’d want to do)

It’s not something I have verified, but if you’re comfortable scripting, it looks like you can update the reading goal progress via the Books API.

That’s true, we do have some basic API support for goals. Although it looks like we don’t have a way to set the specific list of books that were finished, just the number of books. I’ll add that because then other apps could be built to update the reading list just like Micro.blog does.

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My Bookshelves are named, Books To Read, Books Read, and now Read in 20XX (for each year). Will it still work?

Maybe. Because you renamed the bookshelf, Micro.blog still internally knows that it’s for “finished” books, so that’s good. But that assumes that you are using the bookshelf name in your blog post. So in your case, if the blog post contains “Books Read”, it will work. If the blog post links to the book but doesn’t include the bookshelf name anywhere, Micro.blog won’t know this is a finished book and so won’t update the goal.

I think we probably need to not be so strict about this. I’m going to look at tweaking this for 2023.

That sounds good and the change would be helpful. I do plan to use Epilogue to make a post when I finish reading a book so dunno if adding something there would help.