Finding Art Books

Armand Cabrera
(Illustrations for this article by Andrew Loomis)

I have been asked about how to go about finding art books that are out of print or hard to find. I don’t really think there is a trick to it. You just need perseverance. Besides haunting used bookstores and library sales, I regularly use sites like,, and and allow you to create want lists. These lists are good for a year and will notify you when a book you want shows up on the site at the price you want.

Hamilton is great for remaindered books. They have a great art section and I don’t think I’ve paid full price for any how-to art book for years now, the exception being small press publishers that don’t remainder their stock.

Another site I use all the time is Bookfinder is a Meta site, so if you look for a book there, it will list all the places that have it available with the price. It is great when you want to get a feel for what a book is worth.

I will usually watch a book for 6 months before I buy it, sometimes even longer. Books have cycles and sometimes the buzz on a book will drive its price up beyond its value. When this happens I just wait it out and buy when the price falls into line with its actual worth.

Used book stores seem to be an unfortunate casualty of the digital age. Most of the used books stores have disappeared and towns that had five or six stores twenty years ago might have one today. Digital media is all well and good but nothing replaces a good book, especially an art book.

As a side note James Gurney has a new book out called Imaginative Realism, 224 pages and 400 full color illustrations for a great price of 24.99.
Not only is James an award winning illustrator and creator of the Dinotopia book series, he is also a successful gallery artist. You can order directly from James at the Dinotopia website Store
(Cover by James Gurney)

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