So, let’s say that you have a specific book that you wish to purchase, and it’s not easy to find a copy. Perhaps it is a rare book from your childhood, or a particular edition of a book that you wish to give as a gift. A rare or out-of-print book (a book that is no longer being published) can seem impossible to find, especially if you are shopping at the local big-box bookseller.
But that is why Biblio and our legions of independent booksellers are here to help! If you know the title or at least an author’s name, we can give you the tools you to track down just about any book that you want.
So how can you best use Biblio to find that perfect, long-lost listing?
- Author: This field is for searching by the name of the book’s author. You can use their full name, or even just the surname. It is important to ensure that you are spelling the author’s name correctly. Searching for “Steven King” won’t get you a copy of “Carrie,” but searching by “Stephen King” will.
- Title: This field is for searching by the title of the book. You can use a partial title, or even just a couple of words from the complete title. For example, if you search with the phrase Hardy Boys in the title field, you will end up viewing every single book with “Hardy Boys” in the title. If you used the phrase “Hardy Boys Skull”, you’d find results for the 27th book in the series, “The Secret of Skull Mountain (Hardy Boys #27).”
- Keyword/ISBN: This is a wild-card field that searches the title, author, and descriptions of book listings to match your input if you enter text into this box. If the author and title search fields are not finding that perfect book, you can experiment with the keyword field. For example, if you want a complete set of a series, try putting the word “Set” or the words “Complete Set” in the keyword field. To specify a certain volume try entering “Volume 6” or “Volume Six,” or a description like “Third Edition” to narrow your search. You may also get good results with phrases like “Leather” or “Leather Bound.”
- This field is also for searching by ISBN. Input the 10 or 13 digit number (with or without dashes) to find your book on Biblio. For more information about using ISBNs, click here for our FAQ.
There are other options that you can use on this main search page:
- Binding: This drop-down box allows you to choose between hardcover, softcover, or any.
- First Edition: Check this box to limit your search to “first editions” only.
- Signed Copies: Check this box to limit your search to signed copies. Please double -check the listing’s description to ensure that the signature on the book is the one that you want, as it could be signed by someone other than the author, such as the illustrator. (To learn the difference between signed and inscribed books, click here!)
Now, your dream listing might include some more specific details. What if you wanted to sort your search results by quantity of books, the year it was published, the illustrator involved, or condition of the book? You can find the advanced search options on Biblio.com by clicking on the words “Advanced Search” from the main search page.
- Publisher: Do you want the Penguin edition of The Count of Monte Cristo? This field will limit your search results by the publisher that you key in.
- Illustrator: The Gustave Doré illustrated version of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven is definitely a sought-after book. Use this field to find booksillustrated by your preferred artist.
- Condition: When shopping for used books, condition can be what makes or breaks a sale! This drop-down box offers “New,” “Fine,” and “Very Good or Better” as options to limit your search results. The condition is added by the individual bookseller listing that book, so please read the description carefully and ask the bookseller if you have any specific queries beyond what they have provided on Biblio.
- Shipping From: Are you in a hurry to receive your book? Use this drop-down box to limit your search results to booksellers shipping from a particular country to avoid customs hassles or the perils of tracking international packages.
- Dust Jacket: Click this box to ensure that your search results include books with dust jackets.
- With Bookseller-supplied Photos: Biblio displays the stock images of books when available. Checking this box ensures that your search results include listings where the bookseller has provided actual images of the book being offered for sale.
- Price Between: These boxes allow you to input a minimum price and maximum price that you are willing to pay.
- Date Between: Limit the years of publication to pinpoint the exact edition book you are searching for.
- Sort Results By: Price, Relevance, Author, Title…this drop-down box decides how your search results appear. The default setting is Price (Lowest).
- Display: This drop-down box allows you to choose how many results are shown per page.
- Only Books Changed Since: If you are regularly hunting on Biblio for a particular title that is difficult to find, you can use this drop-down box to limit your results to listings that have been recently modified so that you only see the most updated books.
- Within _ Miles of Zipcode: This option allows you to search for books that may be available in stores near you! We encourage you to support your local brick and mortar, independent booksellers.
- At Least _ Copies on Hand: Do you have 5 people that you’d like to give the same book to? What about donating 30 copies of a novel to a local classroom? This option allows you to limit your search results to booksellers who have your ideal quantity on hand. This can save you on shipping rates! (For more money-saving search tips, click here!)
“But I still can’t find my book!” – Troubleshooting your Search
- Are you sure that everything is spelled correctly? Double-check the author’s name, the book’s title, and any other data entered to ensure that everything is input accurately.
- Is the author’s name in the title field? Don’t laugh – I do it all of the time. It is easy to accidentally put the title in the author field, and vice versa.
- Maybe your search is too stringent! Try to search with just the basic information first. Most of the other refining criteria (binding, dates of publication, country shipping from, condition) are easy to add from the toolbar on the right side of the search results page.
If you are certain that all is correct and you still are not able to find your desired book on Biblio.com, we encourage you to make it a “Saved Search.” If you are a registered user of Biblio.com, you can set up email alerts to notify you if someone adds your desired book at any point in the future. To learn more, visit our post, “What is a Saved Search or Want List?”
To learn more about other ways to find books on Biblio.com, check out these other useful Bibliology Blog Posts: