“Look Inside” Book Preview with BookBlock

A "look inside" book preview with BookBlock. A concept for book showcases or online book stores that shows a grid of books with the options to view the details and to look inside of the book, opening the BookBlock in fullscreen and allowing for a 3D page navigation.

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There is something really fascinating about (real) books. Although we live in times where everything is digitalized by now, there is really nothing like picking up a real book and browsing through the pages. Many layouts on the web try to transmit that feeling by creating book-like experiences. On Codrops we’ve played many times with these kind of layouts, too. Today we’d like to show you a little concept for an online bookstore or book collection, using our BookBlock script. The idea is to show a grid of books where we can view some details of the book and where we can open the book to preview an excerpt. You surely know this kind of “look inside” option from Amazon, where you can have a taste of a book’s content. For the book preview we are using BookBlock in fullscreen and for the small books we use a structure with perspective that allows us to open the book in 3D.

Please note that this is just a proof-of-concept and might not work properly in older browsers.

For the book grid we use figures and this is how it looks:

When we click on “view details”, we rotate the book in 3D and move it to the left side, allowing for the details to slide in from the right:

Once “look inside” is clicked we perform a series of animations on the book, its cover and the BookBlock. The small book will open and scale up while the BookBlock fades in and scales up a bit. The fullscreen BookBlock shows the first preview pages:

When clicking on one of the navigation arrows, we flip the respective page in 3D and reveal the next ones:


We love playing with books in our experiments, so if you’d like to explore some similar articles and demos, check out these ones:

As mentioned before, this is an experimental concept implementation so if you find any bugs or glitches please let us know.

I hope you find this interesting and inspiring!

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Mary Lou

ML is a freelance web designer and developer with a passion for interaction design. She studied Cognitive Science and Computational Logic and has a weakness for the smell of freshly ground peppercorns.


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  1. Nice. I think it also plays nice with another use-case: e-commerce. person clicks ‘look inside’ to find out more about the product and even view a gallery 🙂

  2. Very nice! Only one thing: Here, after clicking on “Details” the “CLOSE” button show, and disapear…

  3. A doubt .. Do you could use jpg or png instead of svg to images?

    Congratulations, great job!

  4. Looks and works awesome. Two small things I would do from a UX point:

    1. Show details or look inside when clicking on the book cover. At the moment nothing happens when clicking on the book, which seems like a missed opportunity for people to discover either feature.

    2. You have to click the X to close details view before you can click on anything else. I would have it that clicking outside the details box closes it. There is too little visual change to really warrant a close button. Its not a classic modal where it would make sense and even there will clicking outside the modal usually close it.

    I know they are very easy additions, but they are the 2 things i felt were missing in the demo. Otherwise perfect!

  5. Excellent! I really like this concept and already got plans to use on site of mine.

    Thank you for sharing your talent with is Mary Lou.

  6. I stumbled upon this site last year, but this tutorial got me to comment…

    I’m using Mary Lou’s templates on my site and they’re just great…

    But I just showed this to my family and they SCREAMED W O W!!!

    Seriously, they were mesmerized and amazed by it.

    Thank you for this.

    I gave it my usual quick spin on a few devices – seems desktop viewing is rock solid, but mobile isn’t.

    I’d test this on a tablet to see – a few glitches – covers not showing… pages not turning. I’m using an iPad 2.

    And my mobile emulator didn’t like it either – this tester ROCKS:


    With that said, tomorrow it’s time to git ‘r done and use this on my site to wow my fans.

    Thank you SO much! You make me look like a genius designer/coder.

  7. Cool!

    Is anyone able to make a WordPress plugin using this? WooCommerce shop more specifically?

    Willing to pay.

    • Hey Muhammadibn, i’m expert wordpress developer and i can do anything with wordpress. Please contact me.