Currently Reading


Supplying an ISBN (and, optionally, a Title) will display a cover image of the relevant book with a link to that book’s page on Google Books using the Google Books API.

Using the Widget you can choose whether to:

  • Force all calls to Google to be HTTPS, instead of the API returned HTTP
  • Pad the Image (selected by default, uses internal CSS)
  • Display a Box-Shadow (selected by default, uses internal CSS)
  • Choose Alternate Google Country (defaults to “Worldwide”)

as well as

  • Decide whether you would like to use a Title
  • Define the ISBN-10 or ISBN-13 of the book.


  1. Activate the Plugin via “Plugins” “Currently Reading” “Activate” (if you hadn’t already done so).
  2. Go to “Appearance” “Widgets” and drag the “Reading” widget into whichever Sidebar you choose.
  3. In the “Currently Reading” widget, you can then customise it further.


  • The Configuration of a “Currently Reading” section, with Padding enabled.
  • The default “Widget” configuration, with the Google Country set to South Africa and an ISBN-13.
  • The previous configuration as rendered by Safari.
  • The difference between Padding and Box-Shadow Enabled and Disabled.
  • Widget Configuration location in the Dashboard’s sidebar.


Manual Install

  1. Unzip the file.
  2. Upload currently-reading.php to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory.
  3. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress.
  4. Use the “Currently Reading” widget (found under Appearance Widgets).

Automated Install

  1. Go to “Plugins” “Add New” in your Control Panel.
  2. Search for the keywords “Currently Reading”.
  3. Click the “Install Now” button on “Currently Reading” by “Eugéne Roux”.
  4. When prompted “Are you sure you want to install this plugin?” select “OK”.
  5. Once the installation is finished, you will be prompted to “Activate Plugin”.


  1. Follow your normal installation procedure
  2. Open each Widget’s control panel and re-save

Use the WordPress Plug-in System

  1. Select “Upgrade and Activate”
  2. Congratulate yourself on a sterling job.


I get a ‘*Warning: file_get_contents … : failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.0 403 Forbidden*’ Error in my logs and no books are displayed. Why is this happening?

Your web-site has been configure not to allow outgoing HTTP requests and you have ‘Use Google API’ enabled.

Please de-select the ‘Use Google API’ option to use the direct connection instead.

I get a ‘*No Google Books Entry Found for ISBN:NUMBER*’ on my Blog… Why?

Sometimes Google Books does not return any valid responses on ISBNs. Try the following:

  1. See if you can find an alternate ISBN for the book
  2. Toggle the “Use Google API” option
  3. Find the eBook on Google’s Books Web Page and use its ISBN

Are you planing to insert other sources than Google Books to the Currently Reading widget?

I’ll have a look into supporting Amazon, though they do make you jump through hoops to use their API (which is the reason I settled on using Google Books to start with).

Is there a way to get this plugin to do a library of all of your books into WordPress?

It’s not currently possible with this plugin, no.

I’ll give it a bit of thought and see if I can extend it to do that; but it will most likely need the creation of an alternate plugin to do that.

This would likely require its own database table to do properly, as well…


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Colaboradores y desarrolladores

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Registro de cambios


  • “My apologies, your honour, my client is an idiot…”


  • Updated for 6.5


  • Add option to open Google Books link in a new Tab/Window


  • Add the option to force the use of SSL (https) on Google’s API links
  • Add the option to force the use of SSL (https) on the Alternate links to Google’s API
  • Tested to WordPress 5.2.3


  • Updated and tested WordPress 5


  • Fix the Google Books API call
  • Tested to WordPress 4.7


  • Check cache before using it
  • Check data validity before writing cache


  • Allow (and default to) not using the Google Books API in preference to the older — direct — connection
  • Since I’m probably the only Saffer using this, default to “”


  • Display a message (No Google Books Entry Found for ISBN) when Google has no entry for the book in question
  • Reduce the width of margins so that the book entries fit better into the sidebar
  • Added a screenshot of the Widget Configuration location in the Sidebar (mostly since I keep forgetting where it is)


  • Use the Google Books API instead of previous deep-linking
  • Fix display of ISBN when updating the widget
  • Allow the selection of Alternate Google Domains ( causes issues in some countries)
  • Display book’s Title instead of ISBN on mouse-over


  • Minor fixes to ensure WordPress compatibility


  • Moved to a ‘<div>’ based layout instead of using Lists (Kudos to James Sumners for the suggestion)


  • Improved the book spacing a bit in the internal CSS


  • Added the ability to have drop-shadows around the front-cover images of the books


  • Release number re-alignment with internal Hg repo


  • Fixed a potentially embarrassing issue with generated HTML


  • Initial Public Release