The ReportMarch 2003


There are two book trades. One gets all the attention and glory; the other quietly goes about its business uncommented upon. Celebrity authors, TV book clubs, controversial reviews, bestseller lists, indie presses, movie deals -- the new book trade largely defines the role of books in our culture.

The other book trade continues quietly in thousands of used bookstores across the country. Readers are searching for out-of-print books years, sometimes decades, after the desired titles were last mentioned in a print review or featured at an author signing. In this obscurity, almost entirely ignored by the media and absent from the public consciousness, the out-of-print book business has developed, thrived, stratified.

This activity goes on under the radar, out of the spotlight. We're changing that. The Report is a different kind of bestseller list: it's a measure of the most sought after out-of-print titles in America. We've been online since 1997, enabling individuals, libraries, and book dealers to track down and purchase books, new or used, in- or out-of-print, rare or readily available. Volume 1 of the Report is based on our analysis of aggregate trends for out-of-print book searches between July and December of 2002.

Sex by Madonna
As Madonna embarks on a new career writing children's books, she might be heartened to know that her first bestseller remains in demand. Sex still sells--for between $100 and $1000 a copy.
The Boys from Brazil by Ira Levin
In light of the public frenzy about cloning, is it any wonder that Ira Levin's 1976 thriller The Boys From Brazil is so highly sought after? The canonical "they've cloned an army of Hitlers!" novel grows increasingly relevant in the post-Raelian age.
Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis
British novelist Lindsey Davis' Silver Pigs introduces us to Marcus Didius Falco, a Roman detective, circa 70 AD. The book is out of print in the US, even though Falco has a dedicated American fan base. Newcomers to the series are making do with used copies and international shipments from

Top 10 Lists

Arts and Music
Painting, photography, dance, music, etc.; Architecture and design; books about art and artistic movements; museum and auction catalogs
1 Madonna Sex
2 Hendrick Van Loon The Arts
3 Thomas Craven A Treasury of American Prints
4 Arthur Leighton Guptill Norman Rockwell, Illustrator
5 William Cullen Bryant Picturesque America
6 Rockwell Kent World-Famous Paintings
7 Walker Evans Many Are Called
8 Larry Clark Teenage Lust
9 George McKearin American Glass
10 Henri Cartier-Bresson The Decisive Moment
Includes autobiography and memoirs, as well as biographies of athletes, politicians, artists, writers, etc.
1 Hunter S. Thompson The Curse of Lono
2 Norman Mailer Marilyn: A Biography
3 George Wethern A Wayward Angel
4 David Fisher The War Magician
5 John Denver Take Me Home
6 Judith Exner My Story
7 Charles M. Russell Good Medicine: Memories of the Real West
8 Pamela Des Barres I'm With The Band: Confessions of a Groupie
9 Wendell L. Willkie One World
10 Robert Graves Good-Bye To All That
Fiction and nonfiction; fairy tales, poetry; picture books
1 Philip Pullman Northern Lights
2 Dean Koontz Oddkins: A Fable For All Ages
3 Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall Our Island Story: A History of England for Boys and Girls
4 Holling Clancy Holling The Book of Indians
5 Miriam Young Miss Suzy
6 Holling Clancy Holling The Book of Cowboys
7 Laura Lee Hope Bobbsey Twins at the Seashore
8 Arthur S. Maxwell Uncle Arthur's Bedtime Stories
9 Kate Greenaway Under the Window
10 Olive Beaupré Miller Little Pictures of Japan
Crafts and Hobbies
Cooking, gardening, collecting, pets, etc.; how-to books
1 Paddleford How America Eats
2 Wallace Nutting Furniture Treasury (Mostly of American Origin)
3 Penny McMorris Crazy Quilts
4 Marion Cabell Tyree Housekeeping in Old Virginia
5 Carolyn Keene The Nancy Drew Cookbook: Clues to Good Cooking
6 Ruth Berolzheimer The American Woman's Cook Book
7 James Virgil Howe The Modern Gunsmith
8 Auberon Waugh Waugh on Wine
9 N. Hudson Moore Old Glass, European and American
10 Michael Pearson Michael Pearson's Traditional Knitting
Fiction and Literature
Current and classic titles, literary nonfiction, criticism, essays
1 Hervey Allen Anthony Adverse
2 Maritta Martin Wolff Whistle Stop
3 Thomas Mann Joseph in Egypt
4 Thomas Costain The Tontine
5 Lloyd C. Douglas The Big Fisherman
6 Frances Parkinson Keyes The River Road
7 Benjamin A. Botkin A Treasury of American Folklore
8 Arthur S. Maxwell The Bible Story
9 Van Wyck Brooks The World of Washington Irving
10 Paul Gallico The Abandoned
US and international; from ancient to modern
1 Winston Churchill The World Crisis
2 Joseph Dixon The Vanishing Race
3 George Robert Elford Devil's Guard
4 Arthur Bernard Cook Zeus: A Study in Ancient Religion
5 Kenneth Clark Civilisation: A Personal View
6 Francis Andrew March History of the World War
7 John Richard Green A Short History of the English People
8 Harry C. Butcher My Three Years With Eisenhower
9 Jan Valtin Out of the Night
10 Gerard Colby Thy Will Be Done: The Conquest of the Amazon
Mysteries and Thrillers
Thrillers, whodunits, classics as well as modern titles; popular detectives and spies
1 Rex Stout Where There's a Will
2 Rex Stout The Rubber Band
3 Rex Stout The Red Box
4 Rex Stout The League of Frightened Men
5 Agatha Christie Ten Little Niggers
6 Peter Benchley The Deep
7 Len Deighton The Ipcress File
8 William S. Baring-Gould (ed.) The Annotated Sherlock Holmes
9 Ira Levin The Boys from Brazil
10 Lindsey Davis The Silver Pigs
Classic and contemporary
1 James Thomson The Seasons
2 Arthur Waley Translations from the Chinese
3 Robert Frost A Further Range
4 Stephen Benet Western Star
5 Oliver Goldsmith The Deserted Village and Other Poems
6 Alfred Tennyson The Poetical Worlds of Alfred Tennyson
7 A. E. Housman More Poems
8 Dorothy Parker Death and Taxes
9 Edna St. Vincent Millay Fatal Interview
10 Robert Frost A Witness Tree
Popular Science & Technology
Scientific titles directed at a general audience, cars, personal finance, health, computers and Internet
1 T. Gilbert Pearson Birds of America
2 Jacques Yves Cousteau The Silent World
3 Carl Sagan Murmurs of Earth: The Voyager Interstellar Record
4 Alfred Byrd Graf Tropica: Color Cyclopedia of Exotic Plants and Trees
5 Richard E. Byrd Little America
6 Alfred Byrd Graf Exotica
7 Jacob Bronowski The Ascent of Man
8 Sally Carrighar Wild Heritage
9 Nathaniel Branden Psychology of Romantic Love
10 Hugh Stix The Shell: Five Hundred Million Years of Inspired Design
Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror
Stephen King, Heinlein, Tolkien, etc.; ghosts, aliens, high tech
1 Richard Bachman Rage
2 H.G. Wells The Croquet Player
3 Stephen King My Pretty Pony
4 Kristine Kathryn Rusch The Resistance
5 Stephen King Six Stories
6 A.C.H. Smith Labyrinth
7 J.R.R. Tolkien Tree and Leaf
8 Willis E. McNelly The Dune Encyclopedia
9 Isaac Asimov Tomorrow's Children
10 Time for the Stars Robert Heinlein