Review ::

About the Source

Publication Date: 2018



Authority is a ecommerce search engine that searches all major online booksellers simultaneously. It has been favorably reviewed by the New York Times Book Review and the Wall Street Journal. The website lists numerous positive media mentions dating from 1998 – 2018 and in many languages, and is a reliable source for buyers.

Scope searches over 150 million books for sale. It searches for new and used books as well as rare and out of print books. It’s search function extends to textbooks as well. The site notes that BookFinder works with over 150,000 booksellers and specifically lists over 100 partner vendors.

A search for John Irving’s book A Prayer for Owen Meany returned 43 items. These include new and used books, versions in many languages including Spanish, Chinese, and Russian, a signed first edition, audio excerpts, compilations, and study guides. A search for the Smith and Wong textbook Reference and Information Services, 5th Edition returned 43 new books and 64 used books, but not all of the used results were the specified edition.


The header includes a menu with the following items: Search, About, Preferences, Feedback, and Help. The main section of the site features a detailed search tool allowing user input in the Author and Title fields, language preference, an ISBN field, and limiters for Type (Any, New, Used / Out of Print), Features (First Edition, Signed, No POD, and No ISBN), Destination, and Currency, as well as a link for advanced options. Advanced options include: Binding, Keywords, Price Range, Publisher, and Publication Year. Below the search box are small links for viewing the page in German, English (UK), English, Spanish, French, Italian, and Dutch. To the right of the search window are links for textbook searches, textbook buyback services, and last year’s BookFinder Report, noting the most searched for items. There are also records of the user’s most recent searches in a bulleted list and social media links. The footer of the page includes links featured in the menu bar, help functions, an About section with information about partners and press mentions, contact information, and “extras” including articles, a blog, and the BookFinder report. There is also a link to a Preferences page that allows users to specify preferences such as language, search preferences, and sort criteria.

Recommendation is a valuable tool. The extensive resources, and specialized search functions would be particularly useful for students, collectors and budget conscious buyers. While it does not include book reviews and detailed information about the content of the books, if a user knows what he or she is searching for, BookFinder is a handy resource.

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