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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
"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.
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