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Recommend a book


Staff member
I have added the possibility for each member to recommend a camino related book in their profile. Actually you can recommend up to 5 books, and they will be randomly shown next to your posts in the forum.

If you add a book recommendation it will not be shown next your post each time, but rather about once every 10 posts. This for it not to be too intrusive.

How do you do it?
1) Click the "profile" button at the top (you need to be logged in).
2) Scroll down until you get to the "Profile Information" section. There you will find a field called "Recommendation"
3) Add the isbn number (or the Amazon ASIN number) of your book and click submit to update your profile.

If you have any opinions regarding this, please let me know. Is it too intrusive? Could it be helpful for new members to see what books are recommended by other pilgrims?

Any feedback, good or bad is appreciated.

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not sure how useful this is, Ivar. My general recommendation for guidebooks would be the CSJ guides, but these are not listed on amazon.com. They are on amazon.co.uk, but seemingly not the latest editions, so I would also recommend buying them direct from the CSJ, not from amazon. As the ISBN changes with each new edition, I don't necessarily know what the current one is; even the CSJ page doesn't give it!

There are large numbers of other guidebooks around these days, of varying quality, but many of them are glossies with loads of colour photos. These give you an impression of the features along the route, but they weigh a lot. So if people do buy these I would strongly recommend leaving them at home when you actually walk the route.

There's also the question of language. Some of the best general books on the Camino in general are, not surprisingly, in Spanish or French. These aren't listed on amazon.com either.


New Member
for me, I think that doing a whole of of "homework" before setting out is worth a ton of guidebooks on the trail (besides, they weigh you down). Decide on your route, a few alternatives for accomodation, get basic info - the trail (Camino Frances) anyway, is fairly well marked and learn up the language - Spanish in thias case. Maybe bring along photocopy reduced in size sheets of essential info that you can discard as you move along the trail. This way you get to interact with locals more, have some idea of the place you are at and be less encumbered with "stuff"
As background reading, I found Pilgrim Stories by Nancy Frey helpful insight (not a guidebook), more practical info was gleaned from the Net.

William Marques

Staff member

I've input a couple of books, two historical and one guide and I'll wait to see how it looks on the forum. Like Peter and Shani I don't think these are to take with you but to read before or after. It is a shame the CSJ guidebook cannot be highlighted.


Staff member
Thanks for your feedback.

I think many uses guidebooks as preparation, before they go as well as while they walk (at least this is what I would have done). Therefore a thick and heavy book, might be good for reading at home before you go, and a smaller one (CSJ) might be good to bring with you on the road. Since Amazon has a huge (the biggest?) collection of books, I thought it would be good to use them as a source of pilgrim related books.

I have been trying to get the books to be linked to the UK Amazon store, but I am having problems with the code. My hope is that I will be able to link to Amazon.co.uk within not too long.

William: I have "upped" the probability of seeing the book next your posts to 50% (just for one day or so) so that you can see how it looks.

I guess I should have said this in the first post, but (as you may have figured out as well), I am getting a % of sales that comes from clicks on these book-links.

Thanks again for the feedback, if the general feeling is that this is not useful I will remove it.

Please keep posting feedback if you have an opinion on this topic.

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another problem is shipping costs, particularly for books in English, which are often obtainable on both sides of the Atlantic (though often from different publishers). It would, for example, make no sense for me to buy a book available in the UK from amazon.com as delivery would be expensive and slow. Any other European resident would probably be better off purchasing from UK too. So, ideally you would need 2 links, 1 to amazon.com for US residents and 1 to amazon.co.uk for Europeans. People from elsewhere would have to decide for themselves which to choose.

Maps are often even more complicated, as some walking maps are widely available in different countries, others aren't. So some you can buy locally, others only from the country where it's published.

And, yes, I'm afraid you have to set up a separate affiliate with amazon for each country. And amazon have not yet landed in Spain.
as an example of the problems of transatlantic book purchasing, I've just researched one of the classics of the early Camino revival: Edwin Mullins' 'The Pilgrimage to Santiago', originally published by Secker & Warburg in 1974, and recently reissued, by Signal in UK, and Interlink in US. amazon.com shows only the Interlink edition. amazon.co.uk shows the Signal in both hb and pb, plus 3rd parties offering the Interlink, S&W and another from a publisher called Taplinger. These 5 edns all have different ISBNs of course.

Not as simple as you thought! :?


Staff member
I agree that it is not the perfect "recommend a book tool", but is it better than noting? ...or is it more annoying than helpful?

If users feel that it adds value, I will keep it... if it is annoying and not really helpfull at all, I will take it away.



New Member

Hi Ivar, After using your site before, during and after the Camino Francés, reading your topic on books, I finally decided to register and post.
I think your new book recommendation tool is very helpfull, having had to wrestle with my choice, like any pilgrim I think, a couple of weeks before my Camino.
My choice, perhaps not amazingly the same as yours, was used by me during the Camino to great satisfaction, not only for me, but for any pilgrim I lent it to, even after I had put it in the dryer! :lol:
It is good companionship along the way, because of it's extra spiritual and friendly content, and at least as informative as any other guide I have seen. As said, this was confirmed by other pilgrims, some of whom deeply gegretted having taken no guide at all.
I have the feeling that the writer has become a personal friend, although I still have to tell him that. :wink: He is for me intrically interwined with memories to the Camino, not in the least because I and my girlfriend took the third route (through Dragonte) before O Cobreiro. Route? What route? :wink: But it turned out a day not to forget! All the advise he gave was spot on.
Best regards and keep up the fine site, Hugo


Staff member
Thanks for registering Hugo, its nice to see a name instead of just another "guest" visit. Also thanks for the compliments.

Working on this site is much like a pilgrimage itself. I feel like I am just getting started. It will be fun looking back at some of these messages in 2010 when "everyone" know what "el camino" is.

Regarding the books, I think most people use the internet and books to prepare for their pilgrimage. The combination is a good one, so I thought why not introduce both on the site?

Greeting from sunny and just perfectly warm Santiago (25c)
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