Category Archives: Shops

Sometimes we talk about the shops that Booko searches

More shops and various updates

I’ve added DStore to Booko this morning. Two other shops, Emporium Books and Glee Books were also added earlier in the year bringing Booko to a total of 25 stores. 

Thanks to Anish for a couple of suggestions I’ve implemented including Favicon to help those of you with more browser tabs than desktop space and clearer page titles.

A few new features for Booko, a few new bugs.

Booko now calculates the savings you’ll make between the price of the cheapest store, and the most expensive store, including the percentage saved. Plus, I’ve setup affiliate links for Better World Books – not that that’s a feature as such, but it should hopefully help me pay for hosting Booko.

I’ve also discovered a couple of bugs with Booko which need fixin’, one online shop changed their site meaning I need to fix the price scraper, plus I upgraded my Ruby install without fully testing it. The ActiveRecord component of Ruby on Rails introduced database connection pooling – which is great but the default values were too small for Booko. Some of you may have discovered only half the prices being downloaded for books – sorry about that. 

Thanks to Andrew from Online Bargain Megastore, I’ll hopefully be adding to Booko sometime soon, bringing the total number of stores checked to 19.

Better World Books

The awesome people at Better World Books have extended a 10% discount on books (not delivery) to Booko users until the end of the year. It’s a single use coupon so use it wisely! Coupon code is: JHAL08 

Better World are somewhat different to most other online book stores in that they also include a large selection of used books. They help fund literacy programs all around the world. Read more about them on their site.

Better World Books joins the list of sites Booko searches.

Thanks to Tyrone Butter and Andrew Wilson for suggesting another online bookstore – Better World Books.  This site has a flat $3.97 USD delivery fee to anywhere in the world. Even better, they have an easy to use API ( no screen scraping! ) and an Affilate program – which I’m yet to sign up for (requires American IRS paperwork!).

They also have a large selection of second hand books – I don’t include them in the results at the moment because it doesn’t seem fair to compare new pricing with old.  Any opinions out there on the value of including (somehow) second hand books?

In more geeky news, I’ve updated some of the testing code for Booko – it now tests the sites I scrape pricing information from to check if they have changed their HTML. Should make life easier.

A Mass of Booko related things.

It’s been a busy week for Booko. I sent out some email to almost everybody in my address book, advertising Booko. If that’s why you’re here then, “Hello!”. Hello if you’re a friend of a friend.  But that’s it.

Thanks to Wendy, who recommended a new store, which I’ve just added to Booko – The Book Depository. Looks like it’s pretty competitive. Based in the UK, but with free World Wide Shipping it’s a good addition to the lineup. This brings the total stores searched to 16 – a nice round, base 2 number.

Angus & Robertson have updated their site. Looks pretty nice. One big improvement is that it’s now possible to link directly to book pages. For some reason, the URL for all book pages all begin with “fiction.angusrobertson” – I’ll have to keep an eye on that.  Performance seems way better than their old site.

Thanks to everyone who found bugs. The biggest downside of including your boss in your mass mail out is if he manages to find a bug. And naturally he did (Rob also found this bug). Turns out IE 6 sucks. If you search for a book, you only ever get spinning icons indicating that it’s looking up the price. It actually caches that page and never displays the prices. For this, I’m sorry. I’m not sure if I’ll fix it. I’ll have to check the stats and see how many of you are still on IE6.

Other bugs reported include another IE bug related to Javascript (Thanks Gilly!) and Paul pointed out that Booko degrades poorly when JavaScript has been disabled.

Feel free to send in any errors / ommisions / faults / bugs to