Buying Books on the Internet

(especially foreign language books)



I buy a lot of foreign-language, out-of-print, and specialized scholarly books, and the internet has been a real godsend to me. Awhile back I posted my own internet sources (and solicited new sources) here. This page is a summary of my results.


New suggestions are still welcome, and I will update this page from time to time.


Rightly or wrongly, I still think that shipping from Europe is slower and more expensive than it should be.


Sources I've used, and recommend


I do my first search on, which is good for books in English, French, German, and Italian. Once Iíve pulled up a list on Bookfinder, I look for the ABE listings. ABE is a sort of  consortium of small booksellers, and I've never had bad luck with them.


Bookfinder has informed me that they are working on Spanish. Wonderful! Apparently part of the problem is that the Spanish market is terribly fragmented by nations. My guess is that the globalist collapse of the Argentine economy was also a factor.


Elibron publishes cheap reprints of a very large selection of old public-domain books in English, French, and other languages. They seem to be moving toward e-books, but the hard-copy books I've bought from them were very nicely done..


Labyrinth Sale annex has a great selection of remaindered academic books, and they also send out a useful catalog. Scholar's Bookshelf also publishes academic remainders, and publishes good catalogs. Edward R Hamilton sells more random remainders with a hodgepodge catalog, but they can be very cheap.


Harrassowitz  has an enormous list of scholarly books in several languages. Many specialized catalogs.

For Chinese books and books about China  I go to  Phenix / Sinobiblia in France. They have a great selection and send out a very helpful catalog, and customer service is great. (They also cover Japan, Korea, Tibet, Central Asia, and SE Asia). Shipping is expensive, but not too slow --  though they do seem to send it by a very, very slow, still pretty expensive method unless you specifically ask them. East Wind Books (no link, 1435 A Stockton, San Francisco) is also great, but they arenít on the internet and are only so-so for mail order.

For French books I go first to Amazon Canada since shipping will be faster if they have it in stock. I've also used Amazon France. FNAC is has a good list of Portuguese books and my one experience with them was good, but also slow -- I've just been told it's mostly a French company and good for French books too. Lettres Gothiques (Livre de Poche) has cheap, well-done popular editions of Old French literature, often with Modern French translations.

Oriental Culture Enterprises (13-17 Elizabeth St., NYC) has been recommended for Chinese books, though theyíre not on the internet.  UPDATE (Dec. 05): I've shopped there and I can highly recommend the place.

I've bought from Thornton's books. They have a good list of titles, but their customer service wasn't very good at all.

And while Powells isn't really an internet source for me since I live in Portland, it deserves listing.


Sources recommended by others

*NEW*  Buscar libros Books in Spanish. A few spot checks tells me that this site is a very good one.

*NEW* Chinese books; accepts Paypal.

*NEW* Chinese books from Taiwan.


Add all Portal.  Seek Books Australian Portal. Fetch Book Portal.

Booksold Portal of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.

ABE France French Books ABE Germany German Books 

Book Sense Searches 800 independent booksellers


Frontlist Enormous selection of scholarly books, apparently all in English.

Seminary Co-op Academic bookstores

Schoenhof's Cambridge, MA: scholarly foreign language books.

In England Grant and Cutler sells books from many languages, though Iíve never used them and British shipping always seems slow.

Paragon Asian art and culture. Han Shan Hanshan Tang Books: Chinese, mostly art.

Zvab Hard-to-find antiquarian books. German site, but seems to cover English and French.  German books. (English interface -- not Safari-friendly.)

Chapitre French books. Galaxidion: Hard-to-find antiquarian books in French.

Many sources, mostly French from Dennis Deschene (on the left side of page).

Lusobraz Portuguese language, including Brazil. US company, ships from US.

Internet bookshop  Italian books, interface in Italian. Will use FedEx.

Buscar libros Books in Spanish

Kamo Books Spanish books from the Americas; California location.

El Corte Ingles Spanish books (Spain). Kniga Russian books.

Select Books Singapore. Good on SE Asia. Ganesha Books Bali Indonesia, English interface.

 Motilal Banarsidass.  India. South Asia Books Also from India. (There are many cheap Indian reprints of books on Buddhism, Hinduism, and Orientalism.)

Here is a list of Chinese booksellers in the US.


FYI. These sources are worth a try, but haven't been as thoroughly checked.

Mundi Books Books in many languages, but the selection looks thin.

Best web buys A search, like Bookfinder, but doesn't seem to list ABE.

Books Window Chinese Japanese Korean Vietnamese.

Joyo "Chinese Amazon". Han Books Korean. Arbed keltiek Breton. Saxo Danish.

Thornton's Books Dutch. Esperanto-usa Esperanto. Bokasolan Faroese. Wsoy Finnish.

Bancarella Italian.  Norli. Norwegian.  Livraria Cultura Brazilian Portugese.

Casa del libro Spanish. Thornton's books Swedish. Books-in-Greek Greek .

Hungarian bookstore Hungarian. Polish. Raft Romanian.  Romanian (English-language:

Kamkin Russian (English interface). Gerila Serbian. Emka Slovenian. Pandora Turkish.

Karchad Ukranian.


A high proportion of the new links are from Mary. Thanks also to Angelo, Dennis Des Chene   and several other commenters who provided links. Thanks to Adam KotskoScott MartensGinger Mayerson, and Language Hat for linking to my page.



I am emersonj at gmail dot com.

Original materials copyright John J Emerson

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