Searching for Out of Print Editions?

Are you on the hunt for an out-of-print Bible? If so, you're not alone. If I had a penny for every e-mail I received asking for tips on how to find vintage and out-of-print editions … well, I'd have a lot of change. Unfortunately, there are no secret methods. Or if there are, no one's revealed them to me. Once a book goes out of print, you're only hope is to find either a bookstore or a private seller who has one and is willing to part with it. 

Online Sources
The two sources I frequently recommend are eBay and AbeBooks.com. Plug your information into these two, and you'll get a snapshot (admittedly incomplete) of who has what at the moment. As books trade hands, this is always changing … which means if you don't find what you're looking for, check back regularly

Publishers
Sometimes you have not because you ask not. Or at least, you ask the wrong person. One of the first sources I'd check with when looking for an out-of-print edition is the publisher. You never know what they have in reserve, and even if they can't hook you up, they might be able to offer more information. It's worth a shot.

Bricks + Mortar
Whenever I travel, I make a point of hitting any independent bookstores on the map. You never know what's been sitting on the shelf for the past ten years, waiting for you to come along. Sadly, bookstores that stock nice Bibles are fairly rare. I've had decent luck at Half Price Books.

You may never find what you're looking for. And if you do, the seller might want more than you're willing to spend. The key is patience. If you keep checking over time, the odds in your favor increase quite a bit. If anyone has tips to share or just stories of fulfilled (or unfulfilled) quests, let's hear about them in the comments. 

23 Comments on “Searching for Out of Print Editions?

  1. Over the last few months I have decided that there are a couple of long out of print Bibles that I would like to own. Among the Bibles I am looking for are about three specific editions of the Cambridge Cameo, two that I think are cool and one in any binding that I want to have rebound. I have decided that the Cambridge Cameo is my favorite Cambridge setting and is a strong contender for my favorite Bible period.
    I have the good luck of living in a town that has an independent Christian bookstore that still has several of the older Cambridge editions in stock. I bought a bonded leather Cameo in a “King’s College” box a few weeks ago and sent it off to my bookbinder for a makeover. I have been hunting two other editions, but they are the older gold box Cambridge and may take a bit longer to locate.
    I enjoy the hunt for these classic Bibles very much, it is a real thrill when you find one you have been searching for.

  2. While I do not know of any out of print Bibles I long for now. I have found many thru used book stores in the past such as Amazon and other used stores on line. I also have read this blog and have found some asking for certain versions which I had or knew where to find them. Maybe the beginning spot on this blog could be a place to place requests?

  3. Mark, you have hit the nail on the head. For me, it is patience and ebay. There are a few out of print things I have looked for. First, I wanted one of the old NIV New Testament Coatpocket edition (approximately 5 X 7 and very thin). I found the most incredible one on e-bay published in 1978 — the first release of the NIV new testament!. An unopened goatskin still in its box. I bid $92.00 certain I would get it. It went for $121.00. Months later, a similar Bible (although not quite as nice — and following the 1984 revision of the NIV) came along in “grained morocco” or goatskin. I got it for $8.99! I had three other Bibles I looked for. Two of them were the 2000 printed editions of the KJV and NIV by Holman in the original Lecgacy series (which you reviewed in the KJV). After losing bids on two used KJV’s, I found a “buy it now” for $49 from a seller who sold masses of items and knew nothing of this particular Bible. They assumed this was the 2004 HCSB, but photographs showed the old 2000 box and a rather shiny leather Bible STILL IN ITS PAPER CROSS COVER! Took the risk that description (published 2004) was wrong and purchased. It was, indeed, a brand new, never opened, never out of its package 2000 KJV Legacy. Still have not found the NIV in the legacy but patiently looking. Finally, I have purchased numerous copies of the NIV pre 1984 revision (I am always on the lookout for the pre-1984 version). Two of them were the old Thompson Chain Reference in incredible leathers — brand new — and both for under $50. The deals are always deals on ebay. If you know what you are looking for, and are patient, you will get them!

  4. Welcome back, Mark, I’ve missed you.
    abebooks is great!
    Also, if you search (google or altavista etc) just on the 10 or 13-digit ISBN (or the LoC number, if it’s old) you can sometimes find obscure book stores that don’t list on ABE. (That many consecutive digits–don’t include spaces or dashes–is usually enough to minimize the number of false hits you get on just a title search.)
    In addition to eBay, don’t forget half.com
    And Amazon is coming up to speed too in their used listings. I’ve ordered several in “good” condition that have arrived brand-new, apparently just over-stocks that ended up being sold off cheap to a 3rd party. Just ordered a text-only, single-column NASB95 that way–will see what I get.

  5. Sorry — correction on the publication date. The original NIV new testatment was published in 1973. Entire Bible was first published in 1978. Anyway, this new testament (that I did not win) was worth every penny someone paid for it. I just never dreamed someone else was willing to pay that amount for a new testament!

  6. i just found this site, biblemarketplace.com they apparently have a bunch of other urls registered for the same site(seemd a bit shady), but wanted to know if anyone has heard of/used the site, they seem to have decent things available, if they are actually available

  7. Not sure if this is the right place to post this but I have two NIV Holman Legacy Bibles in Morocco Leather and a HSCB Legacy about to go up on Ebay. MCRAINIER@gmail.com if your interested. As always, thanks for a great site!!

  8. I have been trying to get a hold of a cambridge KJV/RV Interlinear for a long time, but its very hard to get anyone to ship to sweden :) even tho i would pay for it, so right now i hope for a reprint from Cambridge of that edition. would be glad if anyone have one laying around and would consider selling it, or if some IT store still have this one.
    if anyone could give me some advice pls mail me hmmhmm12@gmail.com

  9. I agree with Kyle–patience and ebay. This blog has made me aware of editions that I never knew existed and bindings that I never realized were used. I’d been looking for a nice edition bound in sealskin on ebay everyday for months and months. I found a Cambridge Pitt-Minion bound in black sealskin the other day and luckily my offer was accepted. It is absolutely beautiful and finely grained and looks like it was barely out of the box although the box was missing. Patience finally rewarded!

  10. I am looking for a Pilgrim Bible 1952 soft binding can you help me

  11. I am looking for the out of print Bible titled NIV Pastors Bible, Leather, Zondervan Publishing Company, ISBN 0310910935. Thanks for any help.

  12. I have a 1973 first edition new testament NIV Bible that is hand signed by the translating commitee, it is a very rare Bible. I will be posting it on ebay soon but I will take no less than $1000 for it

  13. Looking for The Daily Bible by F. LaGard Smith in the MILANO SOFTONE cover. There are 2 ISBN’s for this Bible: 0-7369-1733-0 and 978-0-7369-1733-9. When I do a search for these ISBN’s, I get a result showing the paperback version. The one I am specifically looking for is covered in green leather with a tree embossed on the front. Please, please contact me if you have a copy.

  14. Hello. I am looking for the MacArthur NASB study bible in black lambskin. If anyone knows where I can get one, please let me know. Thanks so much.

  15. LOOKING FOR A BIBLE WRITTEN BY DAVID BREESE CALLED CHRISTIAN LIFE BIBLE. IF ANYONE CAN HELP PLEASE LET ME KNOW BY EMAIL at p_veal@att.ne
    THANKS

  16. I’m looking for a Berkeley Bible, preferably leatherbound. Also known as the Modern Language Bible. Author Gerrit Verkuyl. If anyone knows where I could find one please let me know! Thanks

  17. Im looking for copy Allan Niv Bold Print Refrence
    And Cambridge version also looking for The Discovery Bible. NASB New Testament

  18. I am looking for a Cambridge Bible that is out of print is there
    anyway you can help me locate one if I give you numbers in
    back of Bible.
    Thanks so much,
    Charles

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