Find out-of-print books
An out-of-print book is a book that is no longer being published. AbeBooks offers millions of out-of-print books for sale thanks to its worldwide network of used booksellers. Most books written since the invention of the Gutenberg Press are out-of-print. However, copies of out-of-print titles can still be purchased thanks to used bookstores which specialize in used books and out-of-print titles. The most famous out-of-print book of modern times is Madonna's Sex book, which remains in demand but the pop star refuses to republish it.
Search for out-of-print books
Examples of out-of-print books
Featured out-of-print books
Tips for finding out-of-print books
Check you have the correct author and title – it’s easy to make a mistake when looking for an old book. Watch out for common variations like McDonald/MacDonald or color/colour.
If the author’s name includes initials, just search by using their last name.
Books published since 1970 have ISBN numbers – you can search by ISBN on AbeBooks but a work can be published with multiple different ISBNs over the years so you may wish to do an author/title search.
Be prepared to order from overseas – copies may be plentiful in another country.
For older titles that are out of copyright, consider a print-on-demand edition where the book is created after your order is received and you are sent a brand new copy.
Why do books go out-of-print?
Books usually go out-of-print because they are no longer popular and sales have decreased. It's often a financial decision by the publisher.
Some books become dated and publishers decide to stop printing new copies. Travel guides, atlases, history books, and books about technology are particularly prone to this situation.
There can be disputes between the author and publisher, or the author can decide that a particular work should be not be reprinted - perhaps it's not their best writing or contains content they are no longer comfortable with.
Can books come back into print?
Books do come back into print. Publishers will take this action when they think there is sufficient demand for a new edition. First published in 1965, Vincent and Mary Price's A Treasury of Great Recipes was out-of-print for decades before finally being republished in 2015.