Sign In | Register celebrates its fifth year with a new look at old books

Asheville, NC (PRWEB) March 26, 2008 - Leading online book marketplace is celebrating its fifth anniversary this month by launching a complete overhaul of both their site and booksearch technology, including a new site design.

The new search boasts faster search capabilities, better result matching, and improvements which help a customer more readily find the specific books they seek. The new architecture is powered by the open source search platform, Lucene. A project of the Apache Software Foundation, Lucene is a cutting edge technology used by other major sites such Wikipedia,, CNET, and Netflix.

With 50 million books, finding a search architecture capable of meeting the requirements of a large site like was not trivial. "Biblio supports millions of searches a day, so we have pretty extreme requirements for a search engine," explains Jim Hurst, senior software engineer. "Lucene has exceeded our expectations: it's fast, it's robust, and it's smart."

In addition, Lucene provides with further opportunities to add to and extend its present capabilities in the future. "Watch our site for some new tricks," Hurst hints.

Simultaneously, has introduced a new site design which features a growing collection of illustrations from 16th to 20th century books interspersed throughout the site. Apart from the highlighted illustrations, the rest of the site remains clean and subdued.

"It is important that our site represent the love of books that we share with our customers and booksellers," says Stephen Bakes, director of operations. "With this in mind, we set out to build a new site that highlights and celebrates books. As a book company, we're unashamedly bookish." Keeping the design "simple and uncluttered," according to Bakes, is of central importance to's well-educated, internet-savvy customers, who tend to "know what they want and prefer an experience which helps them in their search, rather than distracts or presents obstacles."

Started in a highly competitive and crowded market in 2003, has emerged as one of the largest book marketplaces in the world, in part through the availability and use of open source software such as Lucene.

"While some others in our market have opted to outsource their core IT technology or invest in expensive licensing solutions, we have invested in open source technology," according to Allen Singleton, chief operating officer. "This has enabled us to remain nimble and flexible in our solutions, while keeping costs down for ourselves, our booksellers, and, ultimately, our customers." is one of the world's leading sources for textbooks, used books, and rare books. Established in 2003, has grown to become one of the largest global book marketplaces, with over 50 million books for sale from 5500 bookstores and booksellers in countries around the world. is wholly owned and operated by Biblio, Inc., a privately held company with a commitment to a triple bottom line, in part through both its environmental program, ecosend, and its work with Biblio Charitable Works, Inc.