Culture: Website: Reference
Internet Book Database   (+39)  [vote for, against]
Or "IBDB," for short.

Most of you have probably seen the very splendid and worthwhile Internet Movie Database (IMDB). What I am proposing, in case you hadn't gathered, is an identical (or as identical as the law will allow) system for books. Actually, I'm surprised that Amazon doesn't have this already. Anyway, I'm most interested in it for the same reasons I'm interested in the IMDB, the trivia, the quotes, and the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. I would expand the system to cover short stories, poetry, scripts, and graphic novels/comics.

[later that same day] What I'm really after, egnor, are the trivia and quotes from books, stories, etc. Then again, most books, or most books that I read, don't have snappy lines that are easy to remember and retype, unlike a lot of movies. Same with trivia. Where movies have strange and interesting goings-on surrounding them, due in part to their collaborative nature and all the money they throw around, books more sort of don't. Plus, book characters don't interconnect like movie characters, because there are no actors involved.

Okay, it seems less like a good idea now. Still, I would like more Net info about SF short stories. I'll go ask Jeeves, I suppose.
-- centauri, Aug 04 2000

The Internet Movie Database
I love this place, and I don't even know that much about movies. [centauri, Aug 04 2000, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Whois is registered to Arpanet(!) and is registered to Internetbokdukbang - is still available (9th Aug 2000) though. [hippo, Aug 04 2000, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Specializing in science-fiction and fantasy. Not complete; there are a *lot* of books to catalogue. [wiml, Aug 04 2000, last modified Oct 05 2004]

blues bibliographies
example: robert johnson - yields 120 records, all in anal-retentive detail [thumbwax, Mar 27 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004] = Internet Broadway Movie Database
No good idea goes untaken. [land, Apr 16 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Project Gutenberg http://www.halfbake...a/
Of course, they are starting with the classics and programmer favorites. [1kester, Apr 16 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Slashdot discussion
am wondering about coincidence of location of this idea [Vernon, Apr 17 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Library O' Congress
The fun-fun people what brought you the a-bomb and income tax! [gekken, Apr 18 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

star gazer - patrick moore perhaps...
[yamahito, Aug 16 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

New home for Internet SF DB with working CGI [zardoz, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004] search engine http://www.allreade...cha.asp?SubjectID=2
Search by plot details [Acme, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

The Internet Book Database
The Internet Book Database [ibookdb, Mar 07 2006, last modified Jun 22 2006]

[kiltannen]'s reference as a link
Internet Book Database of Fiction [jurist, Mar 07 2006]

The British Library
Over 12 million entries but basic cataloguing data only. [DrBob, Mar 13 2006, last modified Mar 14 2006]

This application needs a connection to some IBDb [rrr, Dec 23 2006]

Safari Books Online
Complete text of many publishers' books online for a small monthly charge. [Ronx, Dec 24 2006]

Common Knowledge http://www.libraryt...cial-cataloging.php
LibraryThing's "'fielded wiki' for interesting book information" [daydreamlab, Mar 16 2009]

Isn't Amazon itself an IBDB? Everyone I know uses them that way -- if you refer to a book on a Web site, it's convenient to link to the Amazon page for that book (which will have full bibliographic information, readers' comments and so forth).

Of course, Amazon loves that. It might be nice to have such a service that wasn't affiliated with an e-commerce site.
-- egnor, Aug 04 2000

I'd be quite happy to see databases of everything on the internet, the "Internet Software Database" for example (with information on classics like MacPaint and Llamatron) and the Internet Music, Plant, Art, and Architecture Databases as well.

Anyway, the Internet Book Database gets my vote (and "" is a lot snappier than "" too). It could include links to online copies of out-of-copyright works, like Shakespeare and the stuff they have at the Gutenberg Project.
-- Jim, Aug 09 2000

Could pronounce it 'Wibble dot ibbydibby dot com', too...
-- StarChaser, Aug 10 2000

The CDDB is an impressive database of music that allows developers to openly access their resources and implement this data into their custom applications.
-- wolfdw, Feb 07 2001

For a project I'm developing, I'd sure like a database like this that published the number of books that have been sold under each title. Is there any such published list (even if it's not exhaustive, but more complete than just the current bestseller lists)? Or is sales information kept secret by the publishers?
-- beauxeault, Feb 07 2001 is the imdb for music
-- emil, Mar 22 2001

This is completely impractical. Although I would love to have something like this, I'm sure everyone who has an interest in reading would... There are gazillions and gazillions of books that exist today. There are just way too many books in the world for one internet database to contain all or nearly all of them. IMDB (Internet MOVIE DataBase) IS, on the other hand, definitely practical, for there are a *GREAT* deal less number of films than there are books... especially since film has only been around since the 1930's or so...and works of literature, or even just books, have existed since the first civilization, Mesopotaemia.

Maybe a database that specializes in a category of books, such as sci-fi/fantasy (which DOES exist on the net, since there seems to be an abundance of net ppl who read those kinds of books, myself included). Still, it probably couldn't contain every book of the genre, but the popular ones I suppose. has a lot, but not close to everything.

-- Guen, Sep 19 2001

Amazon does this! As part of the now-defunct CueCat device (that strange bar code scanner Radio Shack used to give away that let you scan a UPC or other code and it would take your browser to the associated web page), Amazon provided a link so that when you scanned an ISBN off a book, CueCat could go to that book on Amazon. This link is also accessable directly via your browser!

Just do this - and add the ISBN (without the dashes) to the end!
-- aspdesigner, Mar 13 2002

The site that emil mentions is an even better model than imdb. An would be excellent. Amazon doesn't quite measure up. It doesn't have as much info. on out of print stuff, nor are the ratings as reliable as
-- mrthingy, Mar 15 2002

It would be even better if a tenuously recalled plot or subject matter could be entered as a flexible search string and suggestions ranked by relevance to the search returned. Eg, "Book about three blokes who go for a rowing holiday on a river and really funny stuff happens." or "book about an architect building a house for a pig of a client, has something about honey in the title"

answers on a postcard please
-- IvanIdea, Mar 15 2002

There has also been some work done to consolidate automatic searches across multiple sites (such as Amazon).
-- aspdesigner, Mar 15 2002

It would stupendous if such a database could exist, styled after the imdb, in that you could search by author, title, character names, setting/location, plot keywords. It should have a way to store user comments, cross-reference to online critical analyses, and links to the major online retailers that sell the book or can help you locate something that is out of print ( and

This would be a huge undertaking, no doubt about it. The imdb has a very large staff responsible for their online database, this would NOT be a job for a single person. Good luck, and if you want to hire someone to help you to create the site, I'd be happy to apply.
-- katepike, Mar 26 2002

Maybe we could all do it as a half bakery collaborative project from our own collections to start with.
-- IvanIdea, Mar 29 2002

Other databases currently available online are the many library catalogs from public libraries and universities. But the general format is designed around the old card catalog systems. You are expected to know what you are looking for or to be able to walk to the shelf and pull the book and look at it.

If you could add more cross referencing information, sample chapters, tables of contents and user reviews to that, you would have exactly what you are talking about.
-- willatlguy, Mar 29 2002

Although [Guen] posted a while back, Project Gutenberg and the University of Virginia E-text Center existed then.
-- 1kester, Apr 16 2002

IvanIdea! une croissant avec beurre et gelée fraises du bois! I think that means a croissant with butter and strawberry jam.

Anyways...what about a extensible database linking to the Library of congress and various other literary DB's at government/educational institutions? LOC provides linked searches free; however, their system is almost incomprehensible. How would I do this, you ask? Find yourself a Library Science Major at your local university, throw them about fifty bucks to explain to you how the LOC works, in english (or language of choice), then find yourself some pasty computer geek (I volunteer) to write new search parameters that link to the various entries around the world. Include e-commerce sites and have them pay you to feature their links and you now have about USD$13,50 and can now go get yourself a half-rack og lager to drink while you sit back and gloat
-- gekken, Apr 18 2002

Just so that you know, this is a project that is currently being undertaken as an open source software project (This is for real). These guys aim to build a modular database that will index all books, and then expand into every thing else. The web address is
-- Stargazer, Aug 16 2002

I have made a fairly serious attempt to bring something like this on-line - If you would like to check it out - take a look

I haven't completed it yet - but I am actively working on it. I am looking for people to come on board and start "chatting"
-- kiltannen, Apr 12 2003 it seems to be mostly an amazon- and advertising-based "effort". And a great demo for how not to use drag-and-drop.
-- jutta, Mar 07 2006

love Amazon - is this a twilight zone? I know no one here...
-- po, Mar 07 2006

Comparison of all free online bookdbs - >45000 books - >8500 authors - bookshelf management - keep your own affiliate income from your reviews - takes author requests - supported by ads and amazon - all kinds of books - >30000 books - >3500 authors - forums (some official) - community maintained, you can add books/authors - supported by ads and amazon - only fiction - >38000 books - >12500 authors - same forums as ibdof - community maintained, you can submit books/authors - supported by ads, amazon, other bookstore links, donations - all kinds of books - >7000 authors - >150000 books - supported by ads, amazon, other bookstores, own bookstore at - only fiction - no additional features

Science Fiction and Fantasy Databases: - - - locus index of science fiction
-- ibookdb, Mar 13 2006

Amazon is OK if you're just interested in books currently in print but if you want to find something a bit more obscure I would suggest the British Library catalogue (linky). The other db's linked on this idea aren't fit to lick the mud from it's boots.
-- DrBob, Mar 13 2006

My first on the British Library Catalog for William Diehl returned a few books with no way to know if the list is complete or not. So the catalog sucks for obtaining bibliographic information for authors. Try Robert Ludlum, returns the same book many times. Navigation Sucks and there are no book descriptions. What exactly about this database do you like?
-- ibookdb, Mar 13 2006

//is this a twilight zone? I know no one here...// po

Dear, oh dear [po]. Annos by: [centauri], [egnor], [beauxeault], [DrBob], [IvanIdea] *and* [jutta]. Links by [hippo], [thumbwax], [Vernon], [yamahito], [jurist], and [DrBob].
This is your regular halfbakery stalwart meeting, this is. Look closely, they are even eating roast beef and yorkshire pudding pockets and passing it with Caffeinated Orange Juice.
-- methinksnot, Mar 13 2006

//Try Robert Ludlum, returns the same book many times//

No, it returns the same book title (subtle difference)many times, ibookdb, but each entry relates to a different edition/printing.

What do I like about it? I like that it isn't limited to only a couple of hundred thousand popular titles but to all books, including those which only have one copy existing in the world. I like that it contains books that go back to the beginning of books and not just back to last weekend's book chart. And I did say , in my note to the link, that it was basic data only didn't I?

I've amended the link slightly so that you can also see the newspaper catalogue, the maps catalogue, the journals catalogue and the sound archive.
-- DrBob, Mar 14 2006

I just talked to the folks at and they add all authors searched for by members and not found in the database within a week. I hope to use thier database to start ibookdb. I will provide them with a list of authors searched for from ibookdb too so the database can expand quicker. If there are other sites that would be willing to let me have access to a larger database, I'd love to know - Also if it would be possible to get publishers to give me their databases, I would definitely import those.
-- ibookdb, Mar 14 2006

The Internet Book Database has now launched

- nearly 10,000 authors, 55,000 books listed with descriptions and cover images where available. Also includes cover images of alternate versions of books

- bookshelf management, can add books not on using amazon search

- official author forums at

- social networking via browsing other peoples bookshelves
-- ibookdb, Jun 22 2006

> The Internet Book Database has now launched

It gives a blank page. When will it come online?

I need such a database with good book information to use in conjunction with Booxter. A nice app which lets your webcam scan the barcode of a book to get the ISBN and make a record in your database with the books you own.
-- rrr, Dec 23 2006

Hmmm, I thinking that the old, (I assume), ingly group was named after this? Or not.
-- blissmiss, Dec 24 2006

More useful information and resources learned from the halfbakery. And more bookmarked links. Yahooo! [+]
-- jenifemeral, Dec 30 2006

At first, I thought - well, I use Amazon for this. But then when I thought more about IMDB, the IBDB could include info on all of the characters, background info about the author, etc etc. (which I don't see on the ibookdb above).

Gets a + from me.
-- paix120, Feb 14 2009

I think LibraryThing baked this with "Common Knowledge" [link].
-- daydreamlab, Mar 16 2009

random, halfbakery