How to Locate Books on the Internet


Are you trying to find that last elusive book that you've been trying to find for years? Or are you trying to put together a new collection of books, but can't seem to find very many? If, in any case, you are trying to find old books, then the Internet can be a tremendous boon to you.

Book collecting use to be a very long, hard process. It use to take years to put together a complete set of, say, Tom Swift Jr. books. Not anymore! Armed with your browser, a wallet, and a set of links to the best on-line bookstores, you could quite possibly have all 33 volumes within a few months.

Amazed? You shouldn't be. Nothing really has changed; after all, no new Tom Swift Jr. books have been published. Instead, what has changed is your ability to find books. Before, if a little backwoods store had a copy of, say, Tom Swift and his Cosmotron Express, he had little chance of finding a buyer who would pay more than $5 for it. Nowadays, though, he can create a site on the Internet and quickly sell a copy for several times that price. What has changed? Simply the ability of you to find him. Before, you never could have found that book; now, with the internet, you can.


So where are the best on-line bookstores? Well, if you are looking for series books (Tom Swift, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, etc.) these are by far your best (and most reputable) bets:


Advanced Book Exchange:


Bibliofind Books:

Ebay Auction Classifieds:

Hardyboy01's Book Sale Site:

Interloc Home Page:

Raven's Book Nest:

Seriesbooks' Sale Site:


South Jersey Series Collector's Sale Site:

The Tom Swift Book Exchange:

Virtual Book Shop:


Of those, I would venture to say that the EBay Action Classifieds is the best one. Thanks to its fluidity, you can find nearly any book you want, provided you look long enough. Its search function comes in handy, too. An example: Just by typing in Tom Swift (without quotes) in the first box on its search page, I found a list of more than 50 books -- including such rare ones as Galaxy Ghosts, Cosmotron Express, Dyna-4 Capsule, and G-Force Inverter.


Finding the book you want on the Internet takes a little practice. What I would first do if I were you is visit all of the sites on the above list and bookmark the ones that look the most promising. Next, visit the most promising ones once a week, and continue to do so until the book you want appears. Sometimes (as in the case for Tom Swift and the Galaxy Ghosts), it can take a couple weeks before your book appears, but other times you can find what you want immediately.


There are two other things about buying books on the Internet that I should mention before I close. First of all, buying books on the Internet can be pricey. Many times the books for sale on the Internet sell at or above what I call "collector" prices -- especially when shipping and handling is included. I'm afraid that that is just the price you pay for the convenience of being able to find anything. Look at it this way: sure, you could find the book for less in a used bookstore if you looked long enough. But what is your time worth? Is finding a cheaper copy of that one book really worth all of the hours and hours and hours of searching it will take? Consider the whole matter carefully.

Another thing: you'll want to be careful when you're buying online. No, it's not that someone will cheat you. That, usually, is not a problem -- series books are just not rare enough for someone to go through all of the work needed set up a site just to get a couple dollars. No, the usual problem with buying online is misunderstandings. When you buy a book online, be sure to pay careful condition to its listed condition. Don't go and buy a book only to find that it wasn't in as good shape as you thought it was. When in doubt, ask! It's perfectly acceptable to send the seller e-mails asking for more detailed information about the book. Just make sure that you know what you're getting before you buy!


All in all, though, buying books on the Internet is a great time and stress saver. If you can afford it, I would highly recommend it.

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