Many books - even from popular authors - are out of print (examples are The Collected Jorkens from Lord Dunsany or Round the Fire Stories from Arthur Conan Doyle). What options do I have if I want to get hold of a copy (because I want to be able to read the complete works of the author) without beeing forced to pay collector's prices?

I can think of the following options, please let me know if I forgot any:

  • Bite the bullet and pay £100 and more to buy one of the rare copies on the market
  • Abandon the idea of being able to place a physical copy into my book case and try to get the e-book or pdf
  • Find the full text electronically (for example on Project Gutenberg) and have it printed and bound by some copy shop
  • Start a crowd funding campaign (kickstarter or the like) to get the work back into print
  • Find a public library that has a copy, visit the library wearing a long trenchcoat and dark sunglasses and conceal the book under my trenchcoat when I leave

Are there any other options?

  • I fear that this question is too general to answer. However, Arthur Conan Doyle is a popular and old author, so you will find all of his books full text on the internet. Round the Fire Stories that you mention are under en.wikisource.org/wiki/… (one page per story), as well as gutenberg.org/ebooks/54109 on Project Gutenberg, found by author name from gutenberg.org/browse/authors/d#a69 .
    – b_jonas
    Jul 2 at 14:47
  • 1
    A relevant question on meta is literature.meta.stackexchange.com/q/652/139 What are some good (legal) resources for finding the text of books?
    – b_jonas
    Jul 2 at 14:51
  • Round the Fire Stories seems to have been in print as recently as 1991 and is readily available in second hand paperback editions for well under a tenner. So step one, remember to check online for affordable editions. if you are looking to get PDF's printed and bound, you could print them yourself and learn bookbinding.
    – Spagirl
    Jul 2 at 16:27

The only option I see missing is the 'buy it from a used bookstore or library sale and hope it's not priced at a collector price' which requires a lot of searching, but is feasible and how many places selling to collectors source their books.

  • Similarly, charity shops/goodwill, church sales, jumble sales, house clearances, garage/yard sales, etc.
    – Stuart F
    Sep 29 at 14:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.