This article is from the Isaac Asimov FAQ, by Edward J. Seiler email@example.com and John H. Jenkins firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
If the book is in print, you can probably have your local bookstore order
it for you if they do not have it in stock. Or you can turn to an online
bookstore. Two of the largest are Amazon <http://www.amazon.com/> and
Barnes and Noble <http://www.barnesandnoble.com/>. If the book is out of
print, there are a number of possibilities to explore:
-- Try used bookstores in your area. To find them in the U.S., try
either your local Yellow Pages directory, or on the Web, a business
directory such as Big Yellow <http://www.bigyellow.com/>, searching for
book dealers, used and rare.
-- Library and community book sales in your area may be a good source of
bargain used books.
-- The Usenet newsgroups rec.art.books.marketplace,
rec.arts.sf.marketplace, alt.marketplace.books, alt.marketplace.books.sf,
alt.marketplace.collectables, and alt.books.isaac-asimov sometimes list
Asimov books for sale.
-- There are a number of sites on the Web that sell used books. Both
Bibliofind <http://www.bibliofind.com/> and the Advanced Book Exchange
<http://www.abebooks.com/> represent large numbers of independent used
book dealers, and are good sources for hard-to-find books. The members of
the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America
<http://www.abaa.org/> specialize in rare and collectible books.
Sometimes you can find good deals at these sites, while in some cases the
prices can be very high. In the UK there is the Internet Book Shop
<http://www.bookshop.co.uk/>. Powell's Book Store
<http://www.powells.portland.or.us/search/general.html> is a large store
in Oregon that has a website. Amazon <http://www.amazon.com/> now lists
out-of-print books in its online catalogue; you place an order, and they
will notify you via e-mail within six months if they locate a copy of the
book. You have the option to decline the purchase if the price that they
quote is too high, or if for any other reason you don't want to buy the
-- There are many book search services that will notify you when they
have found books that you are looking for. The searches are free, but
their profit is built in to the prices of the books that they find.