Using WordPress to track my reading

A while back I put together a small plu­gin for track­ing the books I read. Today I put the code up on Github in case it’s use­ful to oth­ers. You can see a live demo of it on my read­ing page.

The plu­gin uses a cus­tom post type for books which lets you track each book as a new post. There’s also a cus­tom tax­on­omy to keep track of the authors you’re read­ing as well.

I also wanted to cre­ate a repos­i­tory for the notes I take when read­ing. I went with the easy way to do that. :) Within the cus­tom post type any con­tent will show as notes. The main read­ing page has a lit­tle “View notes” link that is added auto­mat­i­cally once you add con­tent. It means I’ll slowly build up a pub­lic, search­able set of notes from my reading.

For dis­play­ing books I put together a few tem­plates as a child theme. It’s what I use on this site and the child theme is up on Github. I need to clean up the author archive tem­plates a bit but it at least gets a basic lay­out done.

In the future I’d love to add a graph at the top of the page which plots monthly stats of my read­ing. Hav­ing a visual rep­re­sen­ta­tion of my read­ing veloc­ity would be neat to see over time.

Making the WordPress fullscreen editor the default

A cou­ple weeks ago Patrick Rhone men­tioned that:

It is kind of sad that, in 2012, I have yet to see a blog­ging engine with a post edi­tor designed for doing the very thing we online writ­ers go there to do… Write.

Shawn Blanc men­tioned that Word­Press has a built in fullscreen edi­tor that is pretty min­i­mal. He’s right, the fullscreen edi­tor is one of my favorite addi­tions from the past cou­ple years. The new media improve­ments are even better.

I decided to take a crack at mak­ing a plu­gin to auto­mat­i­cally enable the fullscreen edi­tor. Turns out it was actu­ally pretty easy to do. 6 lines of PHP and 3 lines of JavaScript later the plu­gin is live. I tested it in Word­Press 3.5 with a few other things installed but the test­ing was by no means exten­sive. If you find any bugs feel free to open an issue on GitHub.

The code is hosted over on GitHub in case you want to give the plu­gin a spin. I’m pos­i­tive the plu­gin isn’t for every­one, that’s fine. :)


Jet­pack is our lat­est cre­ation at Automat­tic. It’s a plu­gin that brings the best of the expe­ri­ence to instal­la­tions. It already includes some really slick fea­tures that are only going to get better.

I’ve been beta test­ing this for a few weeks and am super excited to see it going live.  Go read more about it in the announce­ment post.

WordPress link blog plugin

On Kom­mons Ryan Sholin asked me how I cre­ated a link blog option on one of my old themes for this site. Ryan was look­ing for a way to redi­rect post perma­links to a spe­cific URL like the Dar­ing Fire­ball linked list.

I whipped up a quick Word­Press plu­gin, unimag­i­na­tively called WP Linkblog, that will do just that. It looks for a cus­tom field titled linkblog_url and if that exists fil­ters the perma­link to redi­rect to that URL.

By default the plu­gin fil­ters both RSS items and the_permalink in the theme. To remove the redi­rec­tion on your site just remove add_filter('post_link', 'wplinkblog_permalink')

Find the whole thing over on Github. Enjoy Ryan!