Skip to main content
PBS logo
Want fewer ads?

Help Center - The Book Wiki

Search Terms:

Introduced July 14, 2009.

The Book Wiki is a feature on the Book Details page for each book that allows members to add information to the listing for the book.  The wiki is editable by any member (the changes you make are applied immediately).

Where to find it: on the Book Details page for most books (the page you are taken to when you click the book title on the site). If the book has a member-generated (short) ISBN or if our data provider does not link the ISBN to other versions of the book, then the Book Wiki will not appear for that listing.

What it is: There are several sections (for characters, locations, series, etc).  Hover over any section for a brief description of the section.  Note that some sections (like common title) will show only the most recent entry submitted by any member, while other sections (like characters) will show every entry by all members.

Why use it?  It's a cool way to cross-reference books in the system!  When enough data has been collected to make the Book Wiki searchable, all books set in Scotland (for example) can be found with one click.   It's a great way to find other books in a series, or all books with a particular character, or all books that share the same "important event" (a tidal wave, a blizzard, Christmas).  Bottom line, wiki info makes a great way for members to find books they are looking for!

How to use it: 

Note: During times of heavy site usage, there may be a delay of a few seconds before an added or edited entry appears in the displayed list.

  • to edit an entry:
    • For sections that display a single value: click the Edit button to change or add something; the display will change to an editable box.  Make your changes in the edit box, and click the Save button to save.  Your changes will be saved and displayed as soon as you click Save.  If you remove text and then save, this deletes the entry.
    • For sections that display multiple values: click the Edit button to change an existing entry or the Add button to add something new; the display will change to editable boxes.  Make your changes in the edit boxes, and click the Save button to save.  Your changes will be saved as soon as you click Save, but you will remain in Add or Edit mode. To leave Add or Edit mode, click the same button (Add or Edit) again. You'll be returned to the non-editable display with your changes shown.
    • For all sections: If you remove text and then save, this deletes the entry.
  • other cool stuff: clicking any entry runs a search for that term in the PBS library. After enough data has been collected, we will be able to make the wiki fully searchable. Then you'll be able to cross-reference books having similar entries.

Special notes about each section:

  • Common title is filled in by default with the same title at the top of the page.  You can change common title, but you cannot remove it (editing it to blank will not remove it - refreshing the page will bring the default back).  This is unlike all other sections - editing any of those terms to blank will remove the terms.
  •  Series  is for books that are part of a series; no entry necessary if a book is a standalone. You can optionally specify the number of the book in the series and the total number of books in the series.
  • Original Publication Date is the pub date OF THE VERY FIRST PRINTING OF ANY EDTION.  It's okay to put in just the year if that's all you know.
  • People/Characters   This section shows the first five entries, with a link to reveal all entries in the section.  When there are more than 5 characters, be sure to expand the list before adding to make sure the entry's not already there. If you try to add something already in the list, the system won't let you.   
    • Ranking of characters: this allows you to specify the relative "importance" of characters in the book.
    • When the page is reloaded (by any member), the characters will appear in order of ranking.
    • Characters with no rank will appear at the top (to inspire others to correctly rank them!)
    • All other multiple-value sections will display items in the order they were added
  • Places   The first five entries will be shown, with a link to reveal all. 
    • Real Places - when adding a real place, use drop-down lists for country and state names. The text entry area is for anything else (city/town/county/etc.)
    • Fictional Places should be entered in their own section, not in the text field for real places
  • Important events   The first five entries will be shown, with a link to reveal all.
  • Awards/Honors   Select from the dropdown list whenever possible.
    • You can type awards that are not in the list into the text area, but any that you type in will not be added to the drop-down list of awards

Tips to use this feature well:

  • Don't add extraneous comments (single words are best)
  • when possible, select from provided list

For example, in the Location section, if you want to enter Rome, GA:

    • good: Georgia selected from states list, United States selected from country list, Rome typed in text box
    • bad:  "Rome, GA, USA" entered in text box



Want fewer ads?