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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?

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  • 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
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    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
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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.

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

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