AbeBooks has two main types of searches: Quick and Advanced. The Advanced search offers numerous fields to help specify your search.
Additionally, you can further refine your search through the search results page.
If you are interested in purchasing from a specific bookseller, you can also search for books through this means.
Our Quick Search facility, located on AbeBooks.co.uk, allows you to search for books by simply entering the author, title, keyword, and/or the ISBN.
Tip By ticking the UK First box, as displayed above, the search results will show the books available from our UK based booksellers first. If you are based in the UK this will help to give you the shortest delivery times available.
AbeBooks offers an Advanced Search feature which helps specify the criteria for the book you are searching for, by allowing you to enter more detailed information. Please note that entering too much search information at any one time may return fewer or no results. It is therefore recommended that you build your search slowly, adding or changing the criteria as you go.
To use the Advanced Search
1. Click [Advanced Search] in the red banner at the top of the AbeBooks.co.uk page
2. Enter the search criteria you want to use and click [Find Book]
3. To do a second search with different criteria, click [More Search Options]
Tip: By adding extra criteria such as the Publisher or a price range, this will help to narrow your search to help you find the book you are looking for as quickly as possible
You can narrow your results by refining the following:
- Using the Refinements
- Utilising Boolean Searches
- Limiting the Result
Using the Refinements:
You are able to refine the attributes you are looking for by using the options on the right hand side of the Advanced Search screen.
- If you are looking for a special book such as a First Edition or a Signed Book or maybe a book with a Dust Jacket, you can select the attribute boxes such as below and the search results will show only books with these terms in the description.
- To search for the most recently uploaded books select Books Listed Within. This feature allows you to search for books that have been newly listed by our booksellers within the last 24 or 48 hours.
Utilising Boolean Searching
Boolean Searching allows you to narrow down your search by using special terms between your keywords.
To use this you must first enable the Boolean Search function. This helps you to find what you want in a quicker and easier way. To use this in your search, first make sure that Boolean Searching is turned on and then use your required terms in the keyword field. Please see below for examples:
To make sure a keyword is included
Query: I am looking for a book about cats and painting.
AND NOT (ANDNOT, NOT)
To make sure a keyword is not included
Query: I'm looking for books by the author King, but not Stephen King.
To give alternative keywords
Query: I am looking for books about war.
You can also view our searching tips by clicking [More Search Options].
Limiting the Results
You can limit the results and reduce both postage and delivery times by searching for the book from a specific bookseller in your country. To do so you can simply select the bookseller country.
You can also select the number of listings per page in the results.
Filtering the Results Page
You can also filter your searches from the results page by selecting different [Features] from the liston the left side of the screen. Here you can select the attributes of the books which are listed in the search results.
The search results are defaulted to show the lowest total price (book price plus shipping), however, you can choose from a number of options such as Title, Author A-Z, or list the highest rated booksellers first.
Searching for a book from a specific bookseller
There are several ways you can search for a bookseller:
Click [Booksellers] in the red banner at the top of the page
a. If you know the bookshop's name, simply click the letter that their name begins with.
b. In the Name field type a portion of or the full bookshop's name and click [Search].
c. Select a Country from the drop-down menu and, if desired, further refine your search by selecting a Location from the drop-down list and click [Search].
Once you have found a bookseller whose inventory you would like to search, click [Search their Books] or [Browse their Books].
If the list of books in a category is large, you can narrow the search results by using search refinements, as mentioned previously.
Potential Search Terms Errors
The Bookstore Search will accept hyphens, -, or a pipe delimiters, |, between search terms. However, if either is used with no following term, you will receive an error message.
Bob Smith - Books is an acceptable search query
Bob Smith - will return an error message
Bob Smith | Books is an acceptable search query
Bob Smith |will return an error message
AbeBooks Search Tips
When searching on AbeBooks you may find International Editions. These books are printed outside of the USA and are referred to as "International Editions" or "Low price editions". The content is the same as the normal editions; however, the quality of the book may be lower. If you would like more information about a particular book, you can contact the bookseller from the search results by clicking Ask Bookseller a Question.
View the AbeBooks Glossary for other terms used to describe books.
Foreign language titles
If you are searching for a book written in a foreign language it is advisable that you try to find out what the book is called in that particular language. A good place to start would be the Wikipedia page for the author, if one exists. You can enter the language in the keyword field when searching AbeBooks for the book. Additionally, you can narrow your search by searching the inventories of booksellers located in the country in which the language is spoken.
Print on Demand
Print on demand books are supplied by some booksellers listed on AbeBooks. These are indicated by the following symbol:
Please also note that this information should be included in the book's description.