AbeBooks Home

Pages & Proofs

A book blog from the staff at AbeBooks.co.uk

Advanced Search Browse Books Rare Books Textbooks
Advanced Search

The top 100 most searched for out-of-print books in 2013

What do Ray Bradbury, Madeleine L’Engle, Arthur Hailey, Nora Roberts, Stephen King, Salvador Dali and Dick Cheney’s wife have in common? They all appear on the annual BookFinder.com list of the top 100 most searched for out-of-print books.

As usual, the list is topped by Madonna and her famous spiral-bound Sex photo-book, which is still in demand 22 years after its publication. Putting aside the pop star and her sexual antics with Naomi Campbell and Vanilla Ice, the list offers an interesting snapshot of American culture, including guns (four books), needlework (five), food (three) and art (six). The gun-related books include an example of pro-gun lobby fiction called Unintended Consequences by John Ross – a firearms enthusiast who, according to his website, “fires upwards of 20,000 rounds of ammunition per year.” Stephen King has four titles on the list, including Rage, which will never be brought back into print as it concerns school shootings.

Codex Seraphinianus by Luigi Serafini – dubbed the world’s weirdest book – has dropped off the list after a new edition was printed in October 2013. Vincent Price’s ever popular cookbook returns as does Fast Times at Ridgemont High by Cameron Crowe. The Afronauts, a photography book (pictured above), by Cristina de Middel is a newcomer. Self-published in 2012, The Afronauts reimagines the true story of the bizarre Zambian space programme in 1964. De Middel’s images show Zambians dressing up in Buck Rogers-style space outfits made by her grandmother. Copies now sell for more than £900. Birds of Britain (not the feathered variety) and Women Are Beautiful are two other photo-books that are in demand.

There are two Formula One books on the BookFinder list. A Different Kind of Life is a biography of team manager Frank Williams written by his wife Virginia Williams. Life at the Limit: Triumph and Tragedy in Formula One is an autobiography by Sid Watkins, the long-time Formula One on-track doctor. Watkins attended to Ayrton Senna as he died in his wrecked car after a 140mph crash in 1994 and he treated numerous other drivers involved in crashes. One of the more interesting how-to guides on the list is Mediumship Made Simple, published by the College of Psychic Studies in 1996, although Make Your Own Handcrafted Doors and Windows also looks handy.

The BookFinder Top 100

1 Sex by Madonna

2 Rage by Richard Bachmann/Stephen King

3 My Pretty Pony by Stephen King

4 The Harvard Classics (51 volumes) edited by Charles W. Eliot

5 On the Nature and Existence of God by Richard M. Gale

6 Promise Me Tomorrow by Nora Roberts

7 The Jerusalem Bible by Salvador Dali

8 A Treasury of Great Recipes by Vincent & Mary Price

9 Mandingo by Kyle Onstott

10 The Centurions by Jean Larteguy

11 On the Psychology of Military Incompetence by Norman F. Dixon

12 Labyrinth by A.C.H. Smith

13 365 Bedtime Stories by Nan Gilbert

14 The Road We are Travelling, 1914-1942: Guide lines to America’s Future by Stuart Chase

15 The Afronauts by Cristina de Middel

16 The Body by Stephen King

17 Mastering Atmosphere & Mood in Watercolor by Joseph Zbukvic

18 The Angelique Series by Anne Golon

19 Murmurs of Earth by Carl Sagan

20 Beyond the Plough by Janet Woods

21 The Modern Gunsmith by James Virgil Howe

22 A Different Kind of Life by Virginia Williams

23 Life at the Limit: Triumph and Tragedy in Formula One by Sid Watkins

24 Finding the Winning Edge by Bill Walsh

25 Cards As Weapons by Ricky Jay

26 Country Landscapes in Watercolor by John Blockley

27 Advise and Consent by Allen Drury

28 Dark Carnival by Ray Bradbury

29 The Pink Dress by Anne Alexander

30 A Pattern Book of Tatting By Mary Konior

31 The French Advance by Tony Kosten

32 Unintended Consequences by John Ross

33 Fly Fishing: Memories of Angling Days by J.R. Hartley

34 Cyborg by Martin Caidin

35 Phoebe and the Hot Water Bottles by Terry Furchgott & Linda Dawson

36 In A Dark Place: The Story of a True Haunting by Ray Garton

37 Airport by Arthur Hailey

38 Mediumship Made Simple by Ivy Northage

39 Final Truth: The Autobiography of Mass Murderer/Serial Killer Donald ‘Pee Wee’ Gaskins by Donald Gaskins & Wilton Earle

40 Make Your Own Handcrafted Doors and Windows by John Birchard

41 Ilsa by Madeleine L’Engle

42 Collector’s Guide to Colt .45 Service Pistols by Charles W. Clawson

43 Sisters by Lynne Cheney

44 On the Mountain by Peter Dombrovskis

45 Anybody Can Do Anything by Betty MacDonald

46 Sam’s Sandwich by David Pelham

47 Floatmaker’s Manual: Expert Methods for the Practical Angler by Bill Watson

48 Confessions of a Starving Artist: The Art and Life of Harley Brown by Harley Brown

49 First Lessons in Painting and Drawing by Jack Hamm

50 Stuart: A History of the American Light Tank by R.P. Hunnicutt

51 Covenant with Death by John Harris

52 Fast Times at Ridgemont High by Cameron Crowe

53 To Drop A Dime by Paul Hoffman

54 Hello Baby by Jenni Overend

55 I Go Pogo by Walt Kelly

56 Big League Sales Closing Techniques by Les Dane

57 Drum by Kyle Onstott

58 Colt .45 Government Models by Charles W. Clawson

59 The Big Country by Donald Hamilton

60 The Book of Indians by Holling C. Holling

61 Apple Pigs by Ruth Orbach

62 Alternating Current Machines by M.G. Say

63 Jose Rizal: Life, Works, and Writings of Genius, Writer, Scientist, and National Hero by Gregoiro F. Zaide

64 Almonds and Raisins by Maisie Mosco

65 Crochet Lace: An Illustrated Guide to Making Crochet Lace Fabrics by Mary Konior

66 Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns by Barbara Brackman

67 Birds of Britain by John D. Green

68 War in the Modern Great Power System 1495-1975 by Jack S. Levy

69 102 Favorite Paintings by Norman Rockwell by Norman Rockwell

70 The Act of Creation by Arthur Koestler

71 The Vision: A Terrifying Prophecy of Doomsday That is Starting to Happen Now by David Wilkerson

72 Hell, I Was There by Elmer Keith

73 Professional Pattern Grading for Women’s, Men’s, and Children’s Apparel by Jack Handford

74 Good Vibes by Jay Cronley

75 Betty Feezor’s Carolina Recipes by Betty Feezor

76 History of Art by H.W. Janson

77 Basic Building Data by Don Graf

78 The McCoys: Their Story by Truda Williams McCoy

79 The Barrakee Mystery by Arthur Upfield

80 The Law o’ the Lariat by Oliver Strange

81 Women Are Beautiful by Garry Winogrand

82 Golden Book of the Civil War by Charles Flato

83 Bowman of Crécy by Ronald Welch

84 The Chestry Oak by Kate Seredy

85 The Black Sun by Kyle Onstott & Lance Horner

86 The Colorado Kid by Stephen King

87 Turkish Delight by Jan Wolkers

88 The Reluctant King: The Life & Reign of George VI 1895-1952 by Sarah Bradford

89 Angels on Horseback by Norman Thelwell

90 Women and Men by Joseph McElroy

91 The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes by Kenneth Nathaniel Taylor

92 The King Ranch by Tom Lea

93 Pookie by Ivy Wallace

94 Fire Command: The Essentials Of Local Ims by Alan Brunacini

95 Macauley by Arthur Bryant

96 The Bumper Book: A Harvest of Stories and Verses by Watty Piper

97 A History of Hand Knitting by Richard Rutt

99 Alla Prima: Everything I Know about Painting by Richard Schmid

99 The Ark/Noah’s Ark by Rien Poortvliet

100 Atlas of Topographical Anatomy of the Domestic Animals by Peter Popesko

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

6 Responses to “The top 100 most searched for out-of-print books in 2013”

  1. avatar

    I have #4! The so-called Harvard Five-Foot Shelf, all 51 volumes. A wonderful set of books.

    The whole set can be easily found as eBooks–free.

  2. avatar

    This is a nice list of print books. Thanks for sharing with us.

  3. avatar
    David Griffiths April 11, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    A few weeks ago I ordered a book and payed via paypal and have not recieved it.
    It was about Kabir.

    David Griffiths,
    36 Wallingford Mount
    West Yorkshire,

    I registered and everything.

  4. avatar
    Richard Davies May 24, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    David, we need your email address to help. Please contact us on media@abebooks.com

  5. avatar
    Margaret King June 17, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    I have Murmurs of the Earth, Raisins and Almonds and the Norman Rockwell book

  6. avatar
    Richard Davies August 5, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    I see the Rockwell book quite frequently in used bookstores but it never seems to come back into print.

Leave a Reply