thing i wish i had…

…and/or wish I had the skills to make for myself:

So I downloaded the BookBurro Firefox extension last night. When you are looking at a page about a book, a little panel pops up and if you click the panel, it does a search of multiple online book vendors and libraries near you to see where the book is available and for how much.

I don’t think I’ll keep it because it is slightly intrusive. You can’t configure it to only pop up when you click a button on the toolbar, for instance. I already have easy-to-use Firefox search engines for ISBN.nu (the buying option) and Worldcat (the library borrowing option) installed. If I’m actually interested in acquiring a book I am looking at online, those are very simple to use. I generally know whether I want to purchase a book for my own use and abuse, or whether I want to borrow it for a limited time, so I don’t really need these two combined.

I also don’t like how the BookBurro results are configured — they cannot be sorted by price. Also, in setting up the extension one is presented with an enormously long list of libraries to choose from. It is a non-alphebetized list. These are really basic things done wrong.

But enough criticizing.

WHAT I WANT is something like BookBurro and/or ISBN.nu and/or AddAll.com that will allow me to put in a list of ISBNs* that the tool will save. A wishlist of sorts. Behind the scenes, the tool would do a daily search of one of these price comparison sites. Then, I could see this working in various ways…

– Upon click, present me with a list of the X lowest priced copies of each book on my list
– Let me put in a dollar value for each book. The tool will notify me with a popup window or glowing icon or something when one of the books on my list has become available for that price or less.

Basing the tool on ISBN would allow pulling in some functionality from ThingISBN or xISBN to automagically broaden search to other editions.

Of course, inside the tool, it should represent the books by title/author for ease of managing the list.

There. Go. Take my idea and make yourself rich and/or famous. Just let me know when the thing is ready so I can use it.

Or, if this already exists and I just don’t know about it, please enlighten me.

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