Behind The Scenes: Take A Tour of The Herbal Academy’s Newest Feature… The Herbal Bookshelf!
We’d like to introduce the newest feature of the Herbal Academy website – The Herbal Bookshelf!
If you’ve been following along with our blog, you may have noticed our regular posts of some of our favorite books by category or the extensive list: 101 Herbal Books To Build Your Herbal Library. After compiling a handful of these, we decided to expand these roundups into an interconnected, searchable database that represents the books we love and highly recommend. This makes it easier to browse all topics freely and find related resources in a variety of ways. Most importantly, it helps out newcomers still finding their footing in herbalism and can inspire adepts to explore new directions.
Tour The Herbal Bookshelf
To get you acquainted with this new feature, here’s a quick overview of how it works on the site.
How To Search For Herbal Books
- On the main page, you will find a field of book covers organized alphabetically by title. You can browse and click each book cover to reach their expanded profile (learn more about this below).
- Above the field of book covers is a search bar if you have a specific title to look up.
- To the right of the search bar are several buttons to narrow down your search: by topic, by author or by letter. Each has a drop-down menu to scroll through that takes you to that category.
- You can also click on the the B, I, or A letters, to the right of the other search buttons, to see books by course level (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced).
Once you’ve clicked on a selection from the above search options, the field of book covers below will collapse to display a grouping of all books in that category. So, for example, if you choose Women’s Health in the topics menu, you will immediately see only books related to women’s health topics.
Expanded Book Profiles
Once you’re within a book’s profile, you’ll find a brief description of the book, an author biography, which level Herbal Academy course the book corresponds to, as well as a description of that course with links to learn more. Further down are links to blog articles where the book or author are featured, and at the bottom will be a selection of related books to scroll through.
There are clickable buttons indicating the topic and level that take you to those pages with all books in that category. There is also a handy “Buy Now” button that takes you directly to the book’s profile on Amazon.com.
At the top of the page you can navigate with the left and right arrows, each will have the title of the book preceding and following the profile you are in so you don’t have to go back and forth to the category page to get to the next book.
User-Friendly Layout & Navigation
I find the layout and search features of this site to be really helpful in several ways.
- If I’m looking for a book but I don’t quite remember all the information, maybe I just know the author, I can see all books by that author to find my book.
- As a visual person, the book covers are an engaging and excellent way to discover books I’d seen in passing but forgotten the name of, as well as pique my interest in something new.
- The topic categorization also is a really fun way to discover other authors’ perspectives on topics I’m interested in. In reading several introductory herbal books that summarize global herbal traditions, I became fascinated with Ayurveda and Native American herbalism and was happy to discover topic sections with several books covering these traditions. We’ve probably all had that experience of craving more of a certain topic or author after finishing a book.
What I think is most successful about our newest feature is that its intuitive search functions can find exactly what I’m looking for but also provide valuable stepping stones to other books that may spark my interest.
Most importantly, the site cuts down on the information overload of weeding through online reviews or browsing through a bookstore with only the back of the book to guide me. In using this database, I know that I’m searching through a list of books curated by Herbal Academy educators, so I know that only the most useful and classic books are included.
The tradition of herbal books stretches back centuries, and due to the revival of herbalism happening around us, it is growing exponentially still. Sometimes we just need someone else’s tried and true advice on where to start. Going through someone else’s library can be an inspiring and informative experience, so we decided to lend you the keys to our library as a jumping off point. I’ve truly enjoyed using this compass to aid my travels through herbalism, and I hope you will too!