Book Review Library

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A book cataloguing and review system designed with bookophiles and librarians in mind.

Author:Chris Reynolds (profile at
WordPress version required:3.6
WordPress version tested:6.1
Plugin version:1.4.23
Added to WordPress repository:26-08-2013
Last updated:19-07-2022
Rating, %:96
Rated by:16
Plugin URI:
Total downloads:31 743
Active installs:300+
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The Book Review Library plugin allows you to create a library of books, with reviews, that include sortable meta information like author, illustrator, genre, subjects as well as ratings. This enables you to list all the books of a particular type (e.g. all books written by a particular author or with a specific rating). With very little effort, the book review system will be up and running on your site right away, with built in filters to add this extra information to the page without any custom theming.

A configurable shortcode is also built in, to display a book list. [book-reviews] will display all books, while [book-reviews count=3] will only display 3 books and [book-reviews count=3 covers=true] will display those reviews with their covers, if they exist.

Two sidebar widgets have also been included. A Recent Reviews widget will display the most recent book reviews that have been added, and a Related Books widget will display a list of similar books when you are looking at a single book or book list by common genre tags.

Theme developers haven’t been forgotten either. If you want to customize the way the reviews display, create and edit these template files:

  • taxonomy.php
  • archive-book-review.php
  • single-book-review.php

Additionally, there are a number of template tags that can be used in your theme, which are found in inc/func.php.

This plugin uses the Genericons icon font in both the dashboard and the front end to display the book icons and star ratings.


New translations site is up at
Please email me at hello at chrisreynolds dot io if you want to be added as a translator.

  • Italian translation by tristano-ajmone
  • Hungarian translation by Ignácz József
  • French translation by claire idrac
  • Russian translation by Diana Kononova
  • Arabic translation by Salim Solomon
  • Spanish translation by Tierras del Rincon
  • Persian (Farsi) translation by Masoud Allameh
  • Polish translation by Rafał Szampera
  • Catalan translation by Jordi Ramirez
  • Turkish translation by Yardımcı Destek Teknolojileri
  • Dutch translation by robin ketelaars

About this plugin

I sat down with a librarian and a volunteer at the Open Classroom charter school library and asked them what they wanted from the website. The result is this plugin. It was built with a real use-case in mind based on specific feedback I received about things they wanted to share with the school and wider community. If you have questions or suggestions, feel free to let me know.


This plugin hasn’t been in active development for a while. However a major revision/rewrite has been planned for some time. The plugin is stable and works with all versions of WordPress and I’m happy to review/merge pull requests on the GitHub repo or respond to support queries you may have but no new features are planned until after the rewrite is complete.

Shortcodes & Shortcode Parameters

Book Review Library currently supports one shortcode. This page will list the shortcode variations and parameters supported and describe what each available option and parameter does.

Book Reviews


Displays a list of books. If used with no additional parameters, this will display all books, ordered by date added, with no covers and no review or excerpt displayed.


[book-reviews count=5]

Defines how many books to display on a page. Takes any interger. Omit to display all posts. The above shortcode would display the 5 most recent book reviews. Can be used in conjunction with any of the other parameters.


[book-reviews covers=true]

Displays the book cover if it’s been added to the review and if the theme supports it. Only accepted argument is true. Requires the theme to support post thumbnails. The above shortcode would display all books with book covers.

Order By

[book-reviews order_by=title]

Changes the order in which the books are displayed. By default, lists by date added. Accepted arguments are date_added, author — lists by author’s first name (unless authors have been added last name first, e.g. “Reynolds Chris”), title — lists by book title. The above shortcode would display all books alphabetically by title.


[book-reviews format=excerpt]

Determines whether to display the full review or an excerpt. Default is no review text displayed. Accepted arguments are full — displays full book review, excerpt — displays an excerpt of the review or none. The above shortcode would display all book reviews with an excerpt of each review.


[book-reviews author=j-k-rowling]

Filters all book reviews by single author. Any slug of an existing book author is accepted. The above shortcode would display all books by J.K. Rowling. Alternately, when wrapped in quotes, you can use the full name of any existing book author. The following would also work to display all books by J.K. Rowling:

[book-reviews author="J.K. Rowling"]


[book-reviews genre=sci-fi]

Filters all book reviews by genre. Any existing genre slug is accepted. The above shortcode would display all books in the Sci-Fi genre. When wrapped in quotes, you can use the full name of any existing genre if the name matches the slug. The following would display all the books in the “Science Fiction” genre if that genre had a slug of science-fiction:

[book-reviews genre="Science Fiction"]