How to Track Down Hard To Find, Out of Print Editions

After posting a photo of my Mr. Boddington Penguin Classics editions on Instagram, my inbox flooded with questions asking about how I managed to track them down since they’ve been out of print for so long. Instead of replying to each message individually, I figured I’d write a blog post about it to help my beans out! This one is for my book collectors.

1. Bookfinder.com

This website is a lifesaver. You just plug in the ISBN number for the edition that you’re searching for, and it automatically pulls in (almost) all of the online listings that are currently active for that particular edition. Shop away!

2. Thriftbooks.com

This is how I found the Alice edition for $40 bucks when normally it’s not sold for less than $400… which is absolutely INSANE. Punch in the ISBN, and turn on the in-stock notifications and wait. Something will show up eventually, I promise!

3. Amazon

Amazon probably shouldn’t be your first choice to find out of print editions, but it doesn’t mean that it can’t be one of your options. I found a pretty good copy of Sense and Sensibility this way! Just be sure to watch out for incorrect listings. I prefer to message the vendor first to make sure they are selling the correct edition before I purchase.

4. Ebay

Ok, so Ebay is usually known for ridiculous, overpriced listings. But what a lot of people don’t take advantage of is the messaging system. You can actually message the seller and ask if they’re open to bargaining and talking down the original price of their items. That’s how I got my Pride & Prejudice for less than half of the price that it was originally listed for! It just goes to show that it never hurts to ask.

5. Be patient, and have fun!

I still have one more Mr. Boddington to track down even though I’ve been searching for these editions for about 6 months now. I’ve heard about some people waiting years to complete this set. It definitely takes patience that’s for sure. If you see an edition that’s overpriced, DON’T buy it. Just wait it out, or try bargaining with the seller, you never know what could happen. Also the bookstagram community plays a HUGE roll in helping each other find these editions. There are books that I would never have if it weren’t for this awesome community.

Also, try applying these tips to other out of print editions that you’re trying to track down and let me know how it goes. Happy hunting!

ISBN for Mr. Boddington Editions:

Pride and Prejudice: 978-0147509055
Sense and Sensibility: 978-0147509062
Alice in Wonderland: 978-0147509079
Jane Eyre: 978-0147509093
Little Women: 978-0147509048
Wuthering Heights: 9780147509086

Patience Randle

In today’s world, it’s important to form authentic relationships in order to truly engage your readers. It’s about more than just posting a photo and a hashtag, it’s about telling your story. 

3 Comments
  1. Do you know where I can find a company that can search a textbook for which I remember only the title . . . no author, no publisher, no ISBN? I’m looking for a book called The Bible as Literature (purple cover!). Thanks for all of your great info, and thanks for any help you might give me!

    1. Hi Sandy! Usually you can search for the title through Bookfinder.com without the author and ISBN. Let me know if you need any more suggestions!

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