[B-Greek] Off-Topic: On Book Search Engines & Shortening URLs
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:
Bookfinder also searches Chapitre, at least when you're using the French
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
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. ***
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