With the new page, I find it pretty difficult to find ISBN information about books. ISBN gives you some idea when and where it was published, published. But now that the information is not there, it simply is difficult to find.

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    I'm not sure I understand your problem - you cannot find ISBN on the book's goodreads page? Which device do you use? On my laptop I see it quite ok. Or what is it you mean?
    – Andra
    Feb 2, 2023 at 19:49
  • Desktop. Alternatively, is there any site where you give a book's name, author details and it would find the ISBN for you. Using firefox as a browser.
    – shirish
    Feb 3, 2023 at 8:08
  • @Andra For some books, Goodreads actually doesn't provide the ISBN, but I don't know how large that share is.
    – Tsundoku
    Feb 3, 2023 at 10:00
  • @Tsundoku yes, of course, because there are 1) books published before isbn was invented and 2) texts published in internet that we may consider to be books but they just do not have an isbn. In other cases it's a mistake made by a person who added/edited that book. But in most cases there is a isbn - I open in goodreads 30 books in a row and see the isbn and I don't understand what is it OP means.
    – Andra
    Feb 3, 2023 at 17:55

1 Answer 1


You can still find ISBN information on Goodreads, but apparently not for every book. For example, I can't find the ISBN for The Thinker's Guide to How to Read A Paragraph: The Art of Close Reading (2006). But the ISBN is under "Book details and editions" (a small expandable section) for the following books that I looked up: The Glass Menagerie (New Directions, 1999), Shakespeare et son double (L'Harmattan, 2011), Java: A Beginner's Guide (McGraw-Hill, 2005) and Shakespeare, in Fact (Continuum, 1999).

If Goodreads doesn't give you the ISBN, you can always search WorldCat, which provides a kind of federated search over many library catalogues. See for example *Shakespeare, in Fact in WorldCat. (You need to expand the section "Show more information" to access a number of details including the ISBN.)

In addition, many online bookshops (and a famous e-commerce site named after a long South-American river) also provide ISBN information.

Note that does ISBN does not "[give] you some idea when and where [a book] was published". In the 13-digit ISBN (which usually begins with "978"), the so-called "registration group element" can refer to a language rather than a country. And there is nothing in the number that tells you when a book was published. If a book has only a 10-digit ISBN, it was probably published before 2007. If it has no ISBN, it was probably published before the 1970s or published privately (see also the concept of gray literature). (You might still find books that have an SBN instead of an ISBN; these were published between 1966 and the adoption of ISBN, which took a few years.

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