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Finding an out-of-print book

  1. May 24, 2012 #1
    While reading someone's thesis, I noticed they referenced a certain book constantly throughout, so I checked out a copy using interlibrary loan (our library didn't have it) and found it was incredibly helpful. It described in detail a lot of the theory behind some of the measurements my lab uses that my advisor has never explained very well to me, and well, I just want to keep this book forever. Problem is, I can't find a copy anywhere online!

    Can I contact the publisher? Or perhaps go straight to the authors? Or maybe I should just never return it...
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 24, 2012 #2

    Borek

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    Hunt on eBay or Amazon.

    That's what I usually do, although I do it on Allegro.pl, not on eBay. But that's just because eBay never became very popular in Poland.
     
  4. May 24, 2012 #3
    Personally, I have laboriously photocopied whole books. I'm not normal, though.
     
  5. May 24, 2012 #4

    Evo

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    If it's not on e-bay or Amazon, there are stores online that specialize in out of print books, have you searched to buy it as an out of print book? I just recently found two out of print books on e-bay. Or you can contact a bookstore and see if they can find you a copy. If that doesn't work, you can try contacting the publisher
     
  6. May 24, 2012 #5
    I can't recommend this if the book is still under copyright.
     
  7. May 24, 2012 #6

    turbo

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    Have you tried AbeBooks? They often have old stuff, even rare and collectible ones.
     
  8. May 24, 2012 #7

    Evo

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    Should we turn him in? Baaad zooby!!!
     
  9. May 24, 2012 #8

    turbo

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    Well, he was only copying, right?
     
  10. May 24, 2012 #9

    Evo

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    But did he copy right?
     
  11. May 24, 2012 #10
    Perhaps the book zooby copied was already in the public domain. For that matter, the OP's book may be as well.
     
  12. May 24, 2012 #11

    Evo

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    I'm sure zooby only copies books in the public domain.
     
  13. May 24, 2012 #12

    collinsmark

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    I once contacted the publishers of an out of print book, and they sold me one and mailed it to me. It was pretty painless. Sometimes they might have some limited, extra inventory laying around. It couldn't hurt to try anyway.
    Yes, yes you should.
     
  14. May 24, 2012 #13
    This story is not directly related, but I will relate it anyway. There is an excellent book entitled "The Einstein Theory of Relativity" by Lieber and Lieber. The book had been out of print for decades. The author and illustrator, a woman and her husband, had died and no one was able to trace their children who now owned the copyright. No publisher was willing to reprint it for fear that the descendents would come out of hiding and sue them. I was able to buy a copy on amazon for not too much money. However, about 5 years ago a reprint did finally appear and is available for even less than I paid for mine. I do not know the story of how the publisher dared to publish. As far as I know, there have been no lawsuits over it.
     
  15. May 24, 2012 #14
    I believe it is covered under 'fair use":

    http://fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyright_and_Fair_Use_Overview/chapter7/7-d.html
     
  16. May 24, 2012 #15
    Interesting. Not sure I want to spend hours photocopying it though. Think I'll try the publisher first :)
     
  17. May 24, 2012 #16
    It's expensive and time consuming. I'm not normal.
     
  18. May 24, 2012 #17

    Danger

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    Consider yourself lucky that you have that option. I had to copy one of my favourite books by hand, because it was before photocopiers were invented. I still have cramps in my fingers from the experience, and that was over 46 years ago.
     
  19. May 24, 2012 #18

    Astronuc

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    What year was the book published?
     
  20. May 25, 2012 #19
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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