Administrivia: Markup

For the last year+ I have been referencing movies and books using links to Amazon.

Since part of Making America Great Again is recognizing that Amazon are a bunch of tax cheats with abusive labor practices (just like the president!) I’m going to stop linking to there.

From now on, I’ll link movies at imdb, and books – where?

Should I use Library of Congress listings? [example] It has a nice clean syntax. I’m pretty sure linking Google books has the same problem as Amazon.



  1. says

    for many books on your Recommended Reading List there is an entry on Wikipedia that would give more information than an LC entry. For others you might use the respective web page of the publisher that is mentioned on Amazon.

    Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States
    Darrell Huff, How to Lie with Statistics
    John Gall, Systemantics
    Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA
    Mark Riebling, Wedge: The Secret War between the FBI and CIA

  2. says

    If I bother to link a book, it’s generally to Barnes & Noble, as that’s the store I patronize. I’m wary of linking to wikipedia when it comes to books, because they almost always contain the complete story line. That doesn’t matter much if it’s non-fiction. Usually, I simply do not link books. If someone is interested, they’ll look the book up wherever they usually shop, and get the version they most prefer.

  3. says

    I third Goodreads for fiction. Wikipedia for non-fiction (since, as Caine points out, plot spoilers aren’t a problem—and also if anyone can’t afford the book, they’ll at least be likely find links in the article to some pertinent information).

    Also, though you didn’t ask about music, I’ve taken to linking to Discogs where possible.

  4. jrkrideau says

    It is not clear to me what you are trying to do but why not just supply the ISBN if all you want to do is supply a reliable link to the item?

    For that matter ISBN 0804718849 seems to call up all sorts of reviews and comments on the book.

  5. says

    I don’t think a link is even necessary. Knowing author’s full name and the title of the book is enough to clearly identify a book. On rare occasions, when confusion might arise, because an author has published multiple books with very similar titles, adding the ISBN number solves the problem.

    Personally, I don’t have a problem with spoilers in Wikipedia articles. Before buying some book, I always look up its Wikipedia article in order to decide whether I really want to read this book. The first paragraph in a Wikipedia article doesn’t contain information about the plot ending, it just gives a general overview of what this book is about. For example, if I see that the first paragraph in a Wikipedia article says, “X is a romance novel. The plot is about the heroine who meats a handsome and mysterious stranger,” I will never buy the book regardless of how many people recommend it (I just don’t like romance novels). In order to see spoilers in Wikipedia articles, you have to scroll further down until the section “plot summary” and then you actually have to read it till the end (the first sentences describe how the plot begins, so they aren’t spoilers). Granted, I view Wikipedia articles at 200% zoom, so I actually have to physically scroll down the page in order to even see the spoilers.

  6. Pierce R. Butler says

    For a while, PZ Myers, the local Prince of PC, useta link to Powell’s (intriguing title picked unread from their current front-page); dunno why he stopped.

  7. jazzlet says

    ahcuah @ #10
    Thank you for that, didn’t know it existed and it makes me happy just knowing that it does.

  8. Raucous Indignation says

    I use Indie Bound to find books. Put in your zip code and they will take you to a local independent bookstore. I order from Oblong Book & Music. Don’t buy your books from Amazon. Why would you willingly pay tribute to the monster that is destroying everything?

  9. says

    How about WorldCat? And as a bonus you can find out if a library near you has a copy.

    That’s brilliant! I think that is how I will proceed. Let me try that and see how it works.

  10. says

    Raucous Indignation@#15:
    Why would you willingly pay tribute to the monster that is destroying everything?

    Classism. The same people who would complain about WAL-MART putting local businesses under water, have no problem with Whole Foods or Amazon Prime, because it’s selling more upscale tchotchkes.