Monday, November 19, 2012
The first was an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the growing popularity of "My Little Libraries", which are birdhouses that people put in their yards containing books for neighbors and passers-by to borrow. It seemed like a nice idea, but most people probably don't want to put a structure in their yard, worry about books getting wet in the rain, and have to deal with strangers hovering in the driveway.
The second was a reading list brought home by my daughter, containing a list of books that had to be read over the next few months. Of course, since everyone in the class had the same list, the local library was bereft of every title. However, as the list varies little from year to year, certainly someone else in the neighborhood had a copy that could be borrowed. But, how to find out who?
The convergence of these two events led to a brainstorm that, through fits and starts, became reBOOKed.
I spent some time working in the only programming language that I knew (Visual Basic - for Access in this case) and got the basic framework for how the site would work fleshed out. I bought a spiral notebook and kept track of all of the plans and interworking. I searched for a way to convert Access programs to web applications to no avail, and I finally posted on reddit.com in the subreddit "r/learnprogramming" to get some suggestions. After about a month of perusing PHP and SQL books and websites and asking the reddit community obnoxiously ignorant questions, reBOOKed was finally born.
The problem now is getting people to actually use it. The biggest issue seems to be actually entering one's own books. I've entered over 350, and it's not all that hard, but you really have to want to do it. I am hoping that more will want to do it. So, if you've run across this blog and want to do a favor that will cost you absolutely nothing, head over to http://www.rebooked.org and take a look. I'd really appreciate it.