maynews01 Schwerdtfeger Library News
May 2001

Where to Look for an Old Book
by Jean Phillips

Youíve all heard of, the largest online bookstore.  Itís a great place to look for books, music, audiobooks and out-of-print popular books.  Many of the listings include reviews from major sources.  But where can you go to find copies of really rare books?   How do you price them?  Where do you go to find out about rare book terminology and how they are categorized?   The sites listed below are very good places to start your search.

If after youíve checked several sources and still canít find the book youíre after, check with the Library.  Itís very likely that weíll be able to locate and borrow the book youíre interested in.

If you want to search multiple databases at once, BookFinder is a good starting point for locating used, fine, rare or out-of-print books though itís not all-inclusive.  It searches Advanced Book Exchange, Alibris, Amazon, Antiqbook, Barnes & Noble, Bibliofind, Fatbrain, Powell's Books, and many other sites.


Bibliofind's goal is to be the best place for buyers to find used, hard-to-find and rare books on the web and to support and expand independent booksellerís businesses.  Once you find your title, dealer descriptions and terms can be seen by clicking on the dealer's name.  Clicking on the price of a book will show you its equivalent in most of the world's currencies.  Personally, I like the clean screen, layout, speed and comprehensiveness of this database.

Advanced Book Exchange

Advanced Book Exchange brings buyers and sellers of rare, out-of-print and antiquarian books together. The database is searchable by author, title, publisher or keyword and includes a directory of several hundred used book dealers.  Purports to be the largest network of independent booksellers.  Once you find your book youíll be directed to a brief description, its condition, and whom you should contact to purchase it.


JustBooks is a leading Internet marketplace in Europe for second-hand and antiquarian books. Here you will find more than 1.5 million titles offered by over 300 book dealers around the country and beyond, from paperbacks to rare, second-hand, out of print, antiquarian books or first editions.

International Book Collectors Association

A good starting point for information about rare books and book collecting. Included are tips on preservation, book dealers, appraisals, identifying first editions, signed books, collectible authors, and much more that would be of interest to both the amateur or serious collector.

Antiquarian Booksellerís Association of America

The ABAA has existed for about 50 years. Its mission is to promote ethical standards and professionalism in the antiquarian book trade, to encourage the collecting and preservation of antiquarian books and related materials, to support educational programs and research into the study of antiquarian books, and to facilitate collegial relations between booksellers, librarians, scholars, and collectors.  Lots of information for book lovers.

Jean Phillips
October 2001