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Great Science-Fiction & Fantasy Works

Science-fiction & fantasy literature: a critical list with discussions.

Welcome to the Great Science-Fiction & Fantasy Works web site!

You have apparently come to this page from a link on a search engine or another site. If this is your first visit here, I much recommend that you take a few minutes to look over the introductory material accessible via the red “Introductory” navigation block just below the pictures. An understanding of the purposes and principles of organization of this site will, I hope and believe, much augment your experience here, for this page and in general. You can simply click this link to get at the site front page, which, unsurprisingly, is the best place to start. Thank you for visiting.
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You are here:  Home  »  Buying  »  Buying Books ( = this page)


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Buying Books On Line


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“‘In the meantime,’ continued Mr. Larkin, ‘how would you like to sell some books? That’s always fun. You’d be surprised at the great quantity of odd people who read books. Some even buy them. I wonder why?'”

– Rain in the Doorway,
Thorne Smith

Buying Books On Line, New & Used

If you want to buy a book currently in print, and want it new, and live within reasonable proximity to a good bookstore, well and fine. If you want to buy a used copy of a book—whether or not still in print—you can,if there are some near you, used-book shops; but the odds of finding a given book in a given used-book shop are small to vistually nil. The answer to these problems is to buy your books on line.

My experience is that the best single source for books on line, new or used, is ABEbooks. If you click the link, you will get (in a new browser tab) to a page at the ABEbooks web site that explains who they are and what they do; but the lonng and the short of it is that they are a combined virtual storefront for thousands of book sellers, large and small, around the world. When you query a book at ABEbooks, each of their member booksellers’ matching stock is displayed. And that stock can include both new and used editions.

Throughout this site, whenever a book is listed with a link, that link is of one of two kinds: usually it is a search by book title and author name, but when it is for what I call a “preferred editiom”—a particular edition of some book—it is a search by that edition’s ISBN. At times, books are listed here but not linked—typically because they are components of a recommended omnibus volume that is more convenient, and often rather less expensive, than acquiring each book separately. But, if you want to seek out individual copies of such omnibused works, you can use ABEbooks’ Search Page, which is also good for, obviously, searching out any books not listed here.

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About “Condition” for Used Books

There is a standard set of terms used by used-book sellers to describe the condition of the books they sell, and it behooves the potential buyer to be acquainted with those terms. While ABEbooks has a useful page describing those usual terms, here is a quick summary (but see the linked page for more detail, including some modifying descriptors).

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This page was last modified on Wednesday, 21 October 2020, at 6:23 pm Pacific Time.