Where to Find Books
Don't limit yourself to the big two when shopping for books online. Choose from independent stores that will let you know about unusual titles not easily found elsewhere.
Meta Sites for Bookstores
- Bookstore Hall of Fame - My personal list of great bookstores
- IndieBound - An association of independent bookstores; find one near you (formerly BookSense)
- Publishers Marketplace: Bookstore Search - Enter a place and get a map showing bookstores — chain, independent, and specialty — in the area
- Bookstores Around the World - Annotated lists from the rec.arts.books FAQ
- Booksellers - Member directory from the American Booksellers Association
- Bookwire Index: Booksellers - A meta list of bookstore lists
- New Pages Guide to Independent Bookstores
- Selected Bookstores (Publishers WWW Virtual Library)
- Northern California Independent Booksellers Association
- San Francisco Bay Area Bookstore Events
Book Search Engines (new, used, & rare books)
- Book Content Search Engines if you're interested in searching the text of books.
- Advanced Book Exchange (abebooks.com) - Used and rare
- Bibliofind - Now combined with Amazon
- Bibliology - Searches hundreds of dealers' stock. No surcharges from Biblology
- Biblion - With 3 million titles, it's Britain's largest Web site for rare, antiquarian, and secondhand books
- BookFinder.com - Searches some of the other sites listed here (formerly MX Bookfinder)
- ISBN.nu - Searches across several online vendors' sites
- World Book Dealers - International booksellers, emphasis on rare books
Search for books to buy. These sites search many online bookstores' inventories all at once. Some of them let you compare prices. These are the places to start looking when you must have an out-of-print book (or even a new one). But beware: some of these sites force you to buy a book from them — rather than directly from the bookstore — and charge you a markup in the process.
- Bas Bleu - Books for modern-day bluestockings
- Blackwell's - An awe-inspiring bookstore in Oxford, England; shop online if you're not lucky enough to get there.
- China Books and Periodicals - The source for all things Chinese
- City Lights Booksellers and Publishers - Legendary San Francisco bookstore, the original home of the Beats
- Cody's Books, Berkeley
- Common Reader - A catalog with unjustly neglected gems of the past and the best of new books
- Daedalus Books - Another interesting catalog
- Elliott Bay Book Company - A wonderful bookstore in Seattle
- Internet Book Shop - Claims to be the Europe's largest online bookstore (bookshop.co.uk)
- Kepler's Books & Magazines, Menlo Park
- Labyrinth Books - Scholarly and university press books at great prices
- Midnight Special Bookstore, Santa Monica - Specializing in political books
- Natural History Book Service, Ltd., Totnes, Devon, England
- Powells - An amazing bookstore in Portland, Oregon, now online. Also, Powells Technical Books. (What's this?)
- Scholar's Bookshelf - Discounted books, mostly from academic presses
- Stacey's Books - Bay Area specialists in technical and business books
- Tattered Cover, Denver - One of America's great independent bookstores
- University Book Store - Serving the University of Washington and the Seattle community
- University Press Books, Berkeley - Specializing in books from university presses
I think everyone already knows about Nile.com and Farms & Ovals. But I think you should support your local independent bookstores as much as possible. Some of the sites above will help you find one. If you don't have a local independent, buy online from an independent bookstore in another city, like Powells or one of the others listed below. If we don't support these stores, they cannot continue to exist.
Used and Rare Books
- Book Search Engines, above.
- Antiquarian Book Shops and Associations
- Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA Booknet)
- Avenue Victor Hugo - Formerly a great used bookstore in Boston; now online only
- Kaiser Books and Computers Used Book Store White Pages
- Moe's Books presents Virtual Moe's - The online version of a cool store in Berkeley
- Powells - The huge bookstore in Portland (new and used books)
- PaperBackSwap - Not just paperbacks
- BookCrossing - Not the usual trade site, BookCrossing is for people who like to leave books to be found by others. The finders then report in, and so on.
Trade in your used books for other ones.
- American Association of University Presses
- Cambridge University Press
- Chronicle Books
- Coffee House Press
- Dorling Kindersley - Great illustrated works for adults as well as children
- Dover Publications - Classic reprints and clip art
- Faber and Faber
- Facts on File
- Farrar, Straus and Giroux
- Graywolf Press
- Grove/Atlantic - Grove Press has published some great works of modern and subversive literature.
- Houghton Mifflin - Publishers of the American Heritage Dictionary, Riverside Shakespeare, textbooks, and much more
- New Directions Publishing
- The New Press - A nonprofit publisher that puts out many books the mainstream won't touch
Some of my favorite publishers.
NPP was a great publisher of belles lettres, nature essays, Eastern religion, and Californiana in the 1980s. Its reincarnation as an imprint of a major publisher just isn't the same.
North Point Press:
- Prometheus Books - Works of philosophy and skepticism
- University of California Press - Many titles available in E-editions
- Workman Publishing
- AcqWeb's Directory of Publishers and Vendors
- New Pages: Independent Publishers and University Presses
- Publishers' Catalogues (Lights.Ca)
- WWW Virtual Library: Publishers
- The Online Books Page - Free e-Texts from all over the 'Net. Available by Library of Congress classification (John Ockerbloom, U. Penn.)
- Digital Book Index - Indexes the major e-text sites — most, but not all of them, offering free texts
- eBook Locator - Mostly books for sale
- E-Books on the Web - Search multiple indexes at once (U. of Buffalo)
- Internet Public Library: Online Texts
- Internet Archive: Text Archives - Scanned books from major libraries
- Project Gutenberg - Large site for free, out-of-copyright e-texts.
- Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts
- Bartleby.com - Reference books and classics
- Black Mask - E-books in various formats
- Chest of Books - Full text of out-of-copyright books, many of them eccentric books from the 19th century
- Humanities Text Initiative (University of Michigan)
- Literature Network - Full text of some of the Great Books [online-literature.com]
- National Academies Press - Thousands of reports — from the National Academy of Sciences and other agencies — available online, free
- Online Medieval and Classical Literature - Collected texts
- Oxford Text Archive
- Perseus Digital Library - Greek, Roman, Arabic, Germanic, Early Modern English, and 19th Century American Literature
- Universal Library (a.k.a. Million Books Project) - Mostly out-of-copyright books, many in Chinese and Indian languages
- University of Adelaide Library E-Books - Readable HTML files
- University of California Press e-books - Some are free to all users, some are free to UC people only, some are for sale
- University of Virginia Electronic Text Archive
- Wikisource - Project to provide "source texts" (classic works of literature, political documents) in various languages, from the people who brought us Wikipedia
- Wiretap Electronic Text Archives (formerly wiretap.spies.com)
- World eBook Library - Claims to have the largest free e-book collection
- Online Books Page: Archives and Indexes
- Amazon - Many books in its catalog are searchable. Look for the "Search Inside this Book" graphic.
- Google Book Search - Search the full text of books Google has scanned (either from publishers or research libraries). (Note: copyright laws and ongoing litigation will determine how much of a book is displayed at one time.)
- Hathi Trust - Repository of scanned books from major university libraries. Searchable by book titles or full text. Texts out of copyright are available to all; all content is available to the universities' students and faculty.
- Internet Archive: Audio Archive - Audio books, interviews, sermons, music, radio programs
- LibriVox - Free public domain audio books read by volunteers
- Project Gutenberg Audio eBooks
Most of these e-texts are available free.
These sites will help you find particular book title in electronic form (if available).
Collections of E-books:
Book Content Search Engines:
Search the contents of books.
International Standard Booksellers Number (ISBN)
- ISBN.org - Official source for ISBNs in the U.S.
- ISBN-13 Online Converter - Convert 10-digit ISBNs to 13-digits ones, and vice versa
= Page with enhanced content.