Marian the Librarian's Book Search Links
Marian the Librarian's Book Search Links
Sure, Amazon and all those other online bookstores are great,
but if you're like Marian, lots of your favorite books are
out-of-print in these degenerate days! However, thanks to the
World Wide Web they may not be gone forever. Whether they're books
you loved as a child but haven't seen since, or obscure gems you've
been looking for for years, they may be available through the
Web, whether in libraries or in bookstores. Here are some places to
- The Library of Congress
- LC contains most of the books published in the U.S., and is a good place to look for information on out-of-print books. You can't borrow books from LC, but you can visit them there.
- Directories of Public Library Sites on the Web
- Many Libraries have Websites, and some sites include access to their catalogs as well. Remember, your local librarian can order books from other libraries!
- Maryland Libraries Online (via Sailor)
- The State of Maryland offers access to many public and academic libraries through Sailor, the state online information site. Let's hear it for Marian's tax dollars at work!
- Aladin: Washington Research Library Consortium
- This catalog searches 7 Washington area academic libraries' holdings.
- Public Libraries in the United Kingdom
- Want to see what's available in the UK? This site also includes links to other countries in Europe.
Buying Used Books Online
- Bibliofind allows you to search many used book stores' catalogs at once, and to register a "want list" of books you can't find. Marian has made some great finds this way. However, if someone contacts you and says they have the book you want, go back to Bibliofind and make sure they are the ones who have it, and aren't just going to order it from another bookseller and charge you an extra $50 or so. Someone tried to pull that one on Marian once.
- Bookfinder is a search engine that allows you to search many store catalogs at once. It has a wide scope, and is fairly easy to use. Indexes searched by Bookfinder include ABE, Alibris, Antiqbook, Bibliocity, Yourbooks and Powell's. Marian recommends it!
- Alibris, formerly Interloc, has search engines for used books and dealers, and many other book-related links.
- Advanced Book Exchange
- ABE allows searching for books and booksellers, so you can find used book stores near you! Or at least, in your state.
- Powell's Books
- This is the online version of the big Seattle bookseller. Very large collection. Marian plans to make a pilgrimage there sometime.
- Bibliocity offers rare and collectable books, and users can register a want list as well.
- Rereadables has very low prices, but a smaller selection and a clunkier search process. Also, shipping and handling may be much more than the price of the book. Another problem is that the search engine does not tell you the condition of the books, and there is no indication how many copies are available. If you order 5, you may get an e-mail saying that only one copy is available. However, this system may be cost-effective if you buy enough books at once. Marian found some good stuff at reasonable prices.
- This site consists mostly of books offered for sale by individuals, rather than big bookstores. You can even open a free account and offer your own books for sale. Includes a books-wanted page as well.
- Book Sales in America
- Library sales and book sales by other non-profit organizations are a great place to find inexpensive used books. This site provides dates and addresses of such sales around the country.
- Big Book Yellow Pages
- Let's not forget the phone book! This site allows you to search by type of business and location, more specifically than ABE Books. Marian found it very useful to locate used book stores in Colorado Springs and Denver while touring Colorado. Nothing improves a great view of the Rockies like a few cheap used book stores!
Just in case the book you're looking for IS in print. . .
- In addition to a massive book catalog (with subject headings)
this site also includes book reviews and recommendations from readers.
Marian tries not to get annoyed when people pan her favorite books.
- Barnes and Noble
- This site allows you to search for and order books, like Amazon,
and also includes software and a used book search engine. (so does Amazon,
but neither is very efficient or cost effective for used books.)
- 1Bookstreet sells "overstocked, remaindered and out-of-print books. . .up to 90% off." Search by category, or by author. Marian has successfully ordered from this vendor.
- Open Group Books
- So-so format, claims to have 400K books in its catalog. Category searches possible. Some discounts available.
Marian Recommends. . .
- Louisa May Alcott
- Jane Austen
- Lois McMaster Bujold
- Georgette Heyer
- Ngaio Marsh
- L. M. Montgomery
- Elizabeth Peters
- Ellis Peters
- Dorothy L. Sayers
- Nevil Shute
- D. E. Stevenson
- Mary Stewart
- Angela Thirkell
- Patricia Wentworth
- Laura Ingalls Wilder
As you may have guessed, Marian is addicted to book sales. She got started
selling a few books on the Georgette Heyer listserv last year, and still
picks such things up when she sees them at a good price (Marian is a
tightwad as well as a bibliophile). Anyway, if you would like to get her
list of finds on a regular basis, or even just once, e-mail her at
MarianL@mailcity.com . She often has books by the above-listed authors and
others as well. Out-of-print books are her specialty. Marian's prices are low,
and she only charges book rate postage, usually $1.13 for one or two
Here's a picture of Marian and friends reading (a used book, of course).