50 Cool Search Engines for Serious Readers [Updated]

50 cool search engines

Reading books is a lot of fun, but so is the thrill of the book hunt: finding new stories to explore, authors to follow, and collections to build. And thanks to the Internet, it’s never been easier to find your next great book and it’s getting better every day. That’s why we’ve decided to update our 50 Cool Search Engines for Serious Readers post from 2010, bringing you several new resources that are awesome tools for readers. Check out our list, and you’ll find 50 excellent and up-to-date search engines where you can find e-books, rare titles, and even discuss your favorite titles with other readers.


Download public domain titles, compare prices, and even find PDFs that you can read anywhere with these search engines.

  1. Ebook Engine:Through the Ebook Engine, you’ll be able to find free e-books on sites like knowfree.net, Gutenberg.org, and Getmyebook.com.
  2. PDF Search Engine:Find loads of portable books on the PDF Search engine, with PDF versions of e-books.
  3. Ebook Search Engine:On this search engine, you’ll be able to find results from all of the big free e-book sites.
  4. Google Books:Check out Google Books for thousands upon thousands of searchable books, many of which are available in full text.
  5. Open Library:Use this open source reading site to find classic books, e-books, and more.
  6. Bibliomania:Although the design of the site leaves something to be desired, Bibliomania boasts more than 2,000 classic texts, book notes, biographies, and even reference books.
  7. Project Gutenberg:One of the best-known names in free online e-books, Project Gutenberg has a wealth of public domain e-books.
  8. Digital Book Index:With the Digital Book Index, you can find more than 165,000 e-books, texts, and documents available online.
  9. The Online Books Page:Thanks to U Penn, users can search this books page to find e-books by author and title.
  10. Leatherbound:With Leatherbound, users can find e-books, plus compare prices and find reviews.

Books to Swap, Sell, and Buy

Save money and discover cool new titles on these book swap search sites.

  1. BookFinder.com:Through BookFinder.com, you’ll get access to millions of books for sale, even rare and international titles.
  2. AbeBooks:With books for sale from thousands of booksellers, you can find just about anything on this book sale site, from textbooks to out-of-print books.
  3. AllBookstores.com:If you’re a bargain book shopper, find the best deal on new and used books on this site that offers comparison prices on more than three dozen online bookstores.
  4. BookFinder4U:Find the best book prices from more than 130 book stores worldwide, and even buy or rent textbooks on this site.
  5. PaperBack Swap:Go green and save money with this free online book swap. List books you’d like to swap, then choose from millions of available books to receive in return.
  6. eBay:Useful for more than just trinkets, eBay is a great place to find e-books, audiobooks, magazine back issues, and much more.
  7. Barnes & Noble:One of the biggest booksellers in the world, Barnes & Noble has an excellent search function that can help you find just about anything.
  8. Title Trader:Trade just about any title on this swap site, whether you’re working with books, DVDs, CDs, or video games. You can even trade in your old CD collection for this semester’s books.
  9. ISBN.nu:Search by author, title, or subject to compare prices on in-print and out-of-print books on ISBN.nu.
  10. AddALL:Save time and money with this book search and price comparison site.
  11. Amazon.com:This humongous online retailer is one of the best places to find book information, reviews, and prices, whether you buy from the Big A or not.
  12. Indie Bound:If you love to support independent booksellers, this is a great website to check out. Find bookstores and other independent retailers by entering a zip code into Indie Bound.

Rare Books

Although it’s still fun to call or visit your favorite rare bookseller to find a rare or unusual book, these search engines can take your hunt worldwide.

  1. Inprint:Operating since 1980, Inprint is a UK retailer specializing in out of print books. Use their free booksearch service to find long-forgotten titles.
  2. Bibliofind:Now a part of Amazon.com, Bibliofind is an incredible resource to find millions of rare, used, and out-of-print books.
  3. Powell’s Books:Through this legendary retailer, you can discover used, rare books and so much more.
  4. Alibris:Alibris offers an excellent search that allows you to specify parameters including publication years, collectibles, and even the existence of a dust jacket.
  5. Rare Book Room:Step into the Rare Book Room to find photographs of amazing books from some of the world’s greatest libraries.
  6. Fadedgiant:Check out Fadedgiant books to find a guide to rare and old book values, with an online database of more than 50,000 antique book prices.
  7. Bauman Rare Books:This rare book gallery has a searchable online library with books available in categories including Americana, Fine Bindings and Sets, and Photography.
  8. Biblio.com:Biblio.com isn’t just a great search engine for rare books, it’s also an excellent overall resource, with plenty of helpful articles and specialists available for visitors to learn about the collection of rare books.
  9. Bibliopoly:Find rare and antiquarian books in just about any language thanks to this useful book search engine.

Book Reviews and Community

Search these sites, and you’ll be able to find out what the common reader has to say about new releases and more.

  1. AllReaders.com:Find book reviews based on plot, setting, character, and even the old standbys of title and author with this detailed book review site.
  2. Book Movement:This super useful site offers reading guides, with a great community and lots of reviews for each book.
  3. BookCrossing:Find books, share them, and meet fellow book lovers on BookCrossing.
  4. Whichbook:Not sure which book to read? Whichbook offers a new way of choosing what to read by allowing you to set factors and find suggestions.
  5. BookReview:Find book reviews, literary news, new author listings, and more on BookReview.com.
  6. LibraryThing:Join this community of 1.5 million book lovers to find not just book reviews, but a great place to discuss and catalog books.
  7. Goodreads:Explore books, find movers and shakers, and even giveaways on Goodreads.
  8. The New York Times Sunday Book Review:Search for books in the big leagues in this book review column from The New York Times.
  9. NPR Books:Find searchable book reviews on new releases and more from NPR Books.
  10. Read Print Library:Search for books, quotes, authors, and groups to get connected with literature on Read Print.
  11. Comic Book Resources:Comic book lovers, this one’s for you. Find reviews, community, resources, previews, and new releases on Comic Book Resources.


The original book search engine, libraries are still an incredible resource when it comes to finding the written word.

  1. Awesome Library:Who can resist the Awesome Library? This resource has directories, and even a search for full text books, which we think is totally awesome.
  2. Library of Congress Online Catalog:The ultimate in online libraries, you can find books by simple or guided search, plus prints, photographs, sounds, e-resources, and so much more.
  3. Internet Public Library:The Internet’s public library, IPL has resources by subject, special collections, and even newspapers and magazines to check out online.
  4. Classic Reader:Lovers of classic fiction, non-fiction, short stories, and poetry can find a great collection in this online library with thousands of free resources.
  5. WordCat:In The World’s Largest Library Catalog, you can find more than 1.5 billion items available in a library near you.
  6. Public Libraries:On this site, you can find a public library just about anywhere, with listings for public, state, Presidential, college, law, and other libraries available in the U.S. and around the world.
  7. Questia:Use Questia, and you’ll get connected to the largest online collection of books, journal articles, and other reading materials in the world.
  8. Library Spot:With Library Spot, you’ll be able to find libraries around the world, plus book reviews, shopping, and more,

* Article by the staff writers at www.onlinecolleges.net (formatted to fit this page).