January 2014 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Out of Print, but in Demand

Earlier this week, Bookfinder.com released its eleventh annual report on the 100 "most searched for out-of-print book titles" in 2013. This list tracks old books that have, somehow, either retained popularity despite being largely unavailable or regained it from some publicity bump sometime over the past twelve months.

According to the report, Bookfinder does not "consider a title currently published as an eBook or POD [Print on Demand] to be in print. We felt that In Print meant printed on a page, with ink; so while a book only available electronically may be handy, it did not fit our criteria. We also decided some years ago that we would not consider POD published titles to be In Print." The reasoning they offer for this: "The BookFinder.com Report is meant to highlight books which traversed the entire traditional book lifecycle from life to death, and yet are once again sought after for one reason or another."

So what are those popular old titles?

The names in the top ten haven't budged much from last year's report--Madonna (Sex, 1992) is still #1, followed by Stephen King as Richard Bachman (Rage, 1977) and Stephen King as himself (My Pretty Pony, limited edition, 1989), and further down, Nora Roberts (Promise Me Tomorrow, 1984) and Kyle Onstott (Mandingo, 1983).

Outside the top ten, we can still find Ray Bradbury's Dark Carnival, Madeleine L'Engle's Ilsa, Cameron Crowe's Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and Carl Sagan's Murmurs of Earth. New to this year's list are The Afronauts by Cristina de Middel at #15, Life at the Limit: Triumph and Tragedy in Formula One by Sid Watkins at #23, and The Angelique Series by Anne Golon at #18.