[B-Greek] Off-Topic: On Book Search Engines & Shortening URLs

John McChesney-Young panis at pacbell.net
Mon Mar 13 13:43:38 EST 2006

With permission of Professor Conrad, I'm posting an off-topic message  
which I suspect might be of interest to some on the list.

On Mon, 13 Mar 2006 06:23:44 -0800, James Spinti <JSpinti at Eisenbrauns.com>  

> Personally, I usually find http://used.addall.com to be the most
> helpful. ... I would post the URL, but
> it is about 6 lines long.

I too usually check Addall Used first, although at times Bookfinder has a  
slight advantage in that it searches both used and new databases:  
sometimes books can be found cheaper new than used, especially in light of  
the steep discounts that resellers of new books can offer and that those  
who offer used books for sale may not have done as much research as they  
might have to determine true availability (especially for books published  
elsewhere than in the US); even knowlegeable booksellers inadvertently  
overcharge. Bookfinder also seems to search more databases, although since  
many dealers list with more than one service, this might not be as serious  
a problem in practice as it would first appear. It's unfortunate that  
Bookfinder adds a step to the search unless you're using their Classic  
Search option, and it forces you to choose between languages (or I suspect  
in practice among countries of booksellers).

Fetchbook is another good place to search for new books:


as is the non-used part of AddAll:


I find Fetchbook works best if fed an ISBN.

Last I checked, Buchhandel.de didn't accept orders from outside the EU,  
but it's still quite useful for finding out what's (at least in theory) in  
print in Germany:


For used books with a German emphasis, the former ZVAB is good:


A couple of good Scandanavian dealer search engines are:


And Italian:


And French:


Bookfinder also searches Chapitre, at least when you're using the French  
books interface.

As for long URLs, there are a number of free sites that offer redirection  
services that generate a short URL you can substitute for a long one. The  
one I use is TinyUrl:


The particularly nice thing about that service is that there's Firefox  
plug-in that lets you simply control-click or click and hold (with a  
single-button mouse; right-click on a two-button mouse) on a page and the  
contextual menu will include an option to "Create TinyUrl for this page."  
Within a second or two a short URL is generated and pasted into your  


or http://tinyurl.com/duwna

This extension is the main reason I prefer Firefox to Opera.

A couple of additional notes on long URLs, with apologies to those who  
already know this: Amazon's page URLs include information useful for their  
marketing research about where in the Web you've come from, and everything  
after their ID number (usually the ISBN for books) can be safely omitted  
and the URL will still work.

This abridgement trick can work elsewhere, too; for example, searching  
AddAll Used for Horrocks and Greek produces this monster URL:


but if you shorten it to:


it provides the same results.

A caveat about long URLs: Some sites create dynamic web pages which only  
work for a limited time; this is true for Amazon search results, for  
example, and for many on-line library catalog pages, both for search  
results and for single bibliographical records. Those typically have  
horrendously long URLs, the entirety of which are necessary but which  
won't work long enough to make it worthwhile sharing them on a list. These  
URLs are generated on the fly along with the pages, and will work on more  
than one browser on your machine, but after a relatively short time  
they'll generate an error message if visited.



*** John McChesney-Young  **  panis~at~pacbell.net  **  Berkeley,  
California, U.S.A.  ***

More information about the B-Greek mailing list