For collectors: where and how to buy Beat Generation books (and others)

Collecting Beat Generation Books

We’ve gathered together booksellers, publishers, and other services for book book collectors of all stripes. Please get in touch if you’d like to suggest a resource for this list.

Booksellers – Beat, small press & poetry

Beat booksellers

find booksellers & sales:

  • Book Sale Finder – Search for sales, or subscribe to notifications about book sales in your area.
  • Used Books Directory – Categorized directory of used-book stores online.
  • Used Books 101 – Searchable directory of online, brick & mortar shops & services.

Beat & Small Press Publishers:

Resources for Beat Book Collectors

Custom Book Search

Fullerton’s Book Search Services will track down that book you’ve been looking for. Just give them your wish list, and they’ll let you know when they find it, with no obligation to buy.

Book Listing Services – Search for & Buy Books Online

These sites each list books by multiple booksellers.

There are many more too – check out our list of 25 book listing sites!



Books for Book Collectors

Instant Expert: Book Collecting by Matthew Budman contains essential knowledge for book collectors, and is written in a frank & easy manner. In the words of a reviewer at AB Bookman Weekly, “what this book does is open doors and minds to the art and the science of book collecting, painlessly.”
Modern Book Collecting: A Basic Guide to All Aspects of Book Collecting was freshly updated in 2010. Recommended for any book collector, and a must-have for the collector of modern poetry or the Beats, this book was written by the former proprietor of the Phoenix Book Shop in New York. He is the author of bibliographies of Gregory Corso, Gertrude Stein, and Denise Levertov. Chock full of insights you’ll find nowhere else. A good read for novice & experienced book collectors alike.
A Pocket Guide to the Identification of First Editions details the methods over 4,600 different publishers use to identify their first editions. It’s easy to use, and small and light enough to fit in your pocket. You’ll likely recover the cost of this book very quickly, with your new ability to figure out what’s a first edition and what’s not. McBride works tirelessly to get the latest information, and this latest edition, the 7th, was published in 2012.
Points of Issue: A Compendium of Points of Issue of Books by 19th-20th Century Authors is also by Bill McBride, and will help you delve much deeper into the finer details of first editions. It’s also small, inexpensive and easy to slip in your bag or pocket.

This book lists the “points of issue,” the fine details (a typo, binding color, dustjacket detail) that may distinguish the first books printed in a first edition from later ones. Not every book has “points of issue,” but for many literary works which do, these differences can make a vast difference in value.

ABC for Book Collectors is a nearly-exhaustive glossary of book terms. The parts of the book are even labeled so you can learn what they are! You’ll find common and uncommon book terms, information about various book sizes, bindings, papers, first editions, and so much more.

This classic of book collecting has has been helping book lovers and collectors for decades and is now in its 8th edition.

Book Finds, 3rd Edition: How to Find, Buy, and Sell Used and Rare Books by Ian C. Ellis.

Fabulous. About 12 years ago, as I began a bookselling business, I bought the first edition of this book and I’ve often referred to it since. Ellis has an engaging writing style, and provides an invaluable perspective on book buying and an understanding of the bookselling trade. Updated twice since, this is the 3rd edition.

There’s lots of good information here about identifying first editions, advice on avoiding rookie mistake, where to find collectible books, how to be a book scout, and lots more.

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