Books in Print

BOOKS IN PRINT answers questions like:

  1. How much does a book cost?

  2. Is a certain book still in print - that is, still available to buy at a book store?

  3. Addresses of publishers

  4. Lists of books currently available on a subject

  5. Verifying (that is, making sure of the accuracy of your information) titles before requesting them on interlibrary loan

BOOKS IN PRINT lists books currently available to buy that are distributed in the United States. Most of the publishers are U.S. publishers, but some books from foreign publishers are included if they are for sale here. Some important points to note are:

  1. Not all books for sale are in BIP. Many small publishers' items are not listed.

  2. Bibles are not included.

  3. Spanish language books published outside of the U.S. (even if for sale here) are not included.

  4. It does not matter when a book was first written. If it's for sale, it can be listed. So John Donne's works written in the 17th century are included since they have been reprinted. Conversely, a 1984 book which has sold out and not been reprinted will not be listed in a new BIP. You can see that there is a difference between lists of library holdings which do have "out of print" books, and BIP which lists only books for sale.

  5. Free items and very inexpensive pamphlets (e.g., $0.25) will not be listed. If the American Cancer Society has free booklets available, they are not listed in BOOKS IN PRINT.

BOOKS IN PRINT comes in three sections - a list by author, one by title and one by subject. The information under each is the same once you've found it. It gives author, title, publisher, date of publication and price. It also lists the ISBN number. The ISBN - the international standard book number - is a unique control number for that title used in ordering books from publishers and in some automated library data bases. There is also a separate volume listing publishers and their addresses and another volume that lists books declared out of print or indefinitely out of stock since the previous edition of BIP. BIP SUPPLEMENT updates entries which have changes or additions.

BIP comes out once a year. Since books are published during the year, go out of print and change prices, you cannot be sure that the information in BIP is accurate. The Bowker Company, which publishes BIP, has other tools that can be used to keep BIP up-to-ate. One of these is FORTHCOMING BOOKS. FORTHCOMING BOOKS comes out several times a year in a paperback format, and includes changes to listings in BIP as well as listing books scheduled for publication but not yet available.

The full BIP database is also available on the web by subscription.

Complete the Books in Print Practice Questions.

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This page was last updated on November 1, 2003.