Goodreads Developers discussion

bugs > Missing started_at and read_at

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message 1: by Eric (new)

Eric Jain | 2 comments When listing reviews, sometimes the <started_at/> and <read_at/> of a review are empty, even though both "Started Reading" and "Finished Reading" have been set and show up on the website. Has anyone else encountered this?

message 2: by Matt (new)

Matt | 6 comments i've not come across any cases where they're missing altogether, but i have noticed that <{started,read}_at> are set to the point when you moved the book onto the currently-reading and read shelves, not the started/finished dates you fill in when you submit the review¹.

is this a book you added straight to your Read shelf?

¹ there doesn't appear to be any way of getting the latter through the API.

message 3: by Eric (new)

Eric Jain | 2 comments You're right, looks like <{started,read}_at> reflect the dates a book was moved to the "currently reading" and the "read" shelves. If I add a book to the "read" shelf directly, both elements show up empty, even if I set started/finished dates.

If I then move the same book through the "currently reading" and the "read" shelves, the dates are set to today's date, as expected. But then when I delete this most recent date read, the API continues to return the deleted dates!

I'm curious what Goodreads' reasoning for this behavior is...

message 4: by Matt (new)

Matt | 6 comments yeah, unfortunately the API's features include pretty major limitations and certain......infelicities :-/

for my own use i've been manually copying/pasting the dates out of the web interface, though obviously that's not particularly scalable.

message 5: by Ravi (last edited Jun 08, 2018 10:16AM) (new)

Ravi (goodreadscomuncertainp) | 17 comments +1

Pretty limited both in terms of functionality and retrieving data,
manual copy/pasting? that's terrible!!

message 6: by rixx (new)

rixx | 3 comments +1 -- I also came across reviews having empty started_at and read_at, even when the web interface clearly showed dates for those values. Is there any way to get a fix? I tried to contact support, but they only told me to start a thread here …

message 7: by rixx (new)

rixx | 3 comments It's more than a year later with no response – I'm fairly disappointed with the lack of attention towards the Goodreads API.

If anybody else is looking into this: I've resorted to screenscraping for the missing data, and it's not as bad as it could be. You can see the relevant code here in my goodreads-to-sqlite script:

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