Drop shadows

February 26, 2008

This is a silly little posting about the tiny things I worry about, in this case the little shadow on the book covers at BookMooch. It’s also serving as a notice of a change, in case I “broke” the display of book covers somewhere.

A few days ago, I read an article about how you can tell Amazon to modify the look of book covers, adding borders drop shadows and other effects.

About a year ago, I used some fancy HTML to put drop shadows around the covers on bookmooch:

however, they’re a bit slow to draw onscreen, because of the fancy HTML, and the imperfection of the bottom left corner always bugged me:


It just took me an hour, to switch from my fancy HTML drop shadows to the Amazon-created ones, that look like this:


I also like that the “sun” appears to come from the top left, which is the standard in most user interfaces, and BookMooch previously did, but not very elegantly.

So now Amazon makes the book cover drop shadow for us on BookMooch, and so the pages load just a wee bit faster and it looks (to me) a little cleaner. I’m also putting a light grey 1 pixel border around the covers, as I think that looks clean.

Hopefully, this little change will work for everyone (ie, no broken cover art), do post a comment if there are any books that this doesn’t work for.

5 Responses to “Drop shadows”

  1. jeniwren said

    Hmm I do really like the new look of dropshadows but now I have noticed a few covers on my pending page have an alternative cover to when I last visited and changed completely. However when I scroll over to give a larger view the previous cover appears??

  2. Sharon said

    I noticed today after you did it the images looked ‘smaller’ but hadn’t really noticed the shadows! Nice work. Are all images working/showing up? eg. http://www.bookmooch.com/m/detail/0590412213 on this page for me the image shows as blank until you roll the cursor over the spot and it appears enlarged in the rollover effect. As to the first person’s comment I have seen in the past where when you roll the mouse over some images, a different cover image appears, so it may not be a new occurrence. Thanks heaps for all your hard work! I’m absolutely thrilled with the books I’ve been finding on BookMooch!

  3. rachelsmdai said

    John, I think you’re the best…BUT, if you really need to worry, I have some doozies I’d like to pawn off on someone! Are you game? 🙂

  4. reginavsmith said


    When I read the re line about “Drop Shadows” all I could think about was something ominous and nuclear. Glad I was wrong….

  5. note: a few bug reports came in about this feature, notably that some pages here are there would give an error. I’ve fixed all the problems (as of this morning) that were reported, so if you ever encounter a “Server error” page, please be sure to report it, and I’ll fix that.


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