Curated Lists of Collectibles Now on AbeBooks, a subsidiary of, launched a new search element to its website earlier this week. Dubbed Collections, this section focuses on antiquarian books, prints, and ephemera. What makes this different from the rest of AbeBooks is the interface. 

                                                                                                                   abecollections.JPGFamous for helping people find specific, obscure but often necessary books, the newest component to AbeBooks addresses the way people shop for everything nowadays: the Collections platform is organized thematically, mimicking a Pinterest board with its visual bookmarks.

                                                                                                                                                                   Unlike traditional functions on AbeBooks, users won't be typing in the name of a specific title; the Collections section is geared towards potential customers who have a general idea of what they like, and by browsing thematically will develop a more nuanced appreciation for their likes and dislikes.

                                                                                                                                                               "Anyone who enjoys hunting through used bookstores, antique shops and art galleries for obscure treasures will relish Collections," said Arkady Vitrouk, CEO of AbeBooks. "Collections allows sellers to define the topics and offer an innovative discovery experience."

                                                                                                                                                                                  Though online shopping will never quite be the same as browsing the dusty stacks of a bookstore--though brick-and-mortar shops were organized thematically--there was always an element of serendipity, difficult to replicate in the digital world. Still, this is stack-browsing in the digital era, and Collections is the latest foray into the tech sphere for antiquarians. (To wit, see last month's story about Collectival's game-changing software for book dealers. )


md6667734861.jpg"Collections" are created when sellers upload items to AbeBooks and curate each one into a list. Customers can then browse lists--some extending into thousands of items--and as they click through, the website's software updates its personalized recommendations. In addition, AbeBooks' editors highlight particularly noteworthy lists for their breadth and beauty.

Current "curators" include the usual suspects--New York's Strand Bookstore, Powell's Books in Portland, Royal Books from Baltimore, Hennessey + Ingalls from Los Angeles--as well as smaller, more specialized shops like Hungarian seller Földvári Books and Dutch seller Librarium of The Hague. Donald A. Heald hosts "Pocket Maps," one of which is seen here.

Have you visited the Collections marketplace on yet? Tweet us your experiences @finebooks.

                                                                                                                                                      Images Courtesy of