This page is part of My Wonderful Site Jump to search box

Search Abebooks For Used Books

Search For and Buy Used Books Online at Abebooks

Abebooks and Buying Used Books

As Abebooks itself says, Abebooks is the world's largest online marketplace for books. Whether it's new, used, rare, or out-of-print, you can find it here, through our community of over 12,000 independent booksellers from around the globe. Abebooks (formerly just ABE) is a single-access storefront through which those 12,000-plus used-book dealers--many true mom 'n' pop operations--can make their entire stock available anywhere in the world. Practically every used-book shop that does sell on the internet belongs to Abebooks: if you use a used-book meta-search engine (an engine that searches the results of other search engines) to look for used books, you will only rarely find anything that is not listed on Abebooks, wherever else it may be listed.

Using the Abebooks Search Box below is so simple and intuitive that no instructions are needed; the one "specialty" option, Boolean searching (the use of "logical operators" to fine-tune searches)--which is optional--is explained in a long note below the Search Box. Enjoy your used-book hunt!

The Abebooks Used-Book Power Search

Search Criteria

(there must be an entry in at least one field in this column)
Search Options (defaults as shown)

(boxes or fields left blank are ignored in the search)
= Author Show results sorted:

= Title
Search w/Boolean searching: On  Off
(What's this?)
= Publisher
    Use only significant words (such as "Acme" for "Acme Publishing, Inc.")
Show only books whose binding is:
= Bookseller location Show only books that are:
First Editions   Signed   w/Dust Jacket
= Keyword(s)
Acceptable Price (US$):
$  minimum  to   $  maximum
= ISBN    (must be 10 characters--omit hyphens)
    (If you enter an ISBN, all other entries are ignored.)
Show results per page
Please be patient:

this may take some seconds.
This clears all entries;

it also resets all options to their default values.

Whatever is "Boolean Searching"?

"Boolean" searches (named after logician George Boole) let you use use the words and, or, and not--called "logical operators"--plus quotation marks and parentheses to construct more-exact queries. You can turn Boolean searching on or off using the radio buttons next to the phrase search with Boolean searching in the Search Box above (it defaults to being off). If it is off, those words have no "magic" meaning, whereas if it is on they act to combine search terms in special ways.

   Note 1: When Boolean Searching is on, the tilde symbol ~ can be used in place of the word not.

   Note 2: You don't have to upper-case the Boolean terms--in the examples below, we just do it for emphasis.

Examples of Boolean Searching:

You are looking for books about warfare, and want to find books dealing with "war" or with things "military" in nature. The Boolean logic is OR:
· do a Keyword search for war OR military

You are looking for a book about cats and painting. The Boolean logic is AND:

· do a Keyword search for cats AND painting

You're looking for books by an author named King, but who is not Stephen King. The Boolean logic is NOT:

· do an Author search for King NOT Stephen (or for King ~Stephen, using the tilde to mean not)

You want to search for either or both of the books To Have and Have Not and The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. The Boolean logic is OR:

· use Author search for Ernest Hemingway combined with
Title search for "To Have and Have Not" OR "The Old Man and the Sea"

(This example illustrates a subtlety, and the wise use of quotation marks. In this example, there were words that normally are Boolean operators within the titles of the books. You wanted the search to look for the actual book titles, not to interpret those title words--and and not--as Boolean operators. To tell the search that you are looking for titles, you must use quotation marks (" ") around any Boolean operators that you do not want considered as Boolean operators.

You're looking for for volumes of Harry Potter published by different publishers. The Boolean logic is OR, AND:

· do a Keyword search for (Scholastic AND Harry Potter) OR (Bloomsbury and Harry Potter)

This example demonstrates how to group series of words together: use parentheses ( ). As in mathematics, use of parentheses will keep search terms together as a block or unit.

"Operator: precedence:

The Boolean operator "not" is given the highest precedence, followed by "and", and then "or". If you have two Boolean operators in one search, the search will be run using the order of precedence. For example: You are searching for a book by Stephen King. You don't want the book "IT", but do want books by Penguin publishers. The search results you see will display any books that match your criterion.

Parentheses can be used to force the order of processing. For example:

     Keyword search: (Bloomsbury OR Scholastic) AND Harry Potter

By surrounding the OR words with parentheses, you force the search engine to process the two related terms (the pair in the parentheses) first. Only after that will the search engine combine tat firsts result with the last part of the search. Using this method, the related OR terms are kept together as a logical unit.

Invalid Boolean Searches:

The following Boolean searches are invalid and would not be completed because the search expression is incomplete:

     Keyword search: Cat NOT

     Author search: Stephen OR NOT King

     Title search: NOT the shining