Top 10 Widely Sought After Out-of-Print Books

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There’s nothing better than being able to pick up a book one day and sitting down to read it. It’s a wonderful experience being able to find that one book that really grabs your eyes and fingers and doesn’t let you put it down until you’re finished. Finding a book that sucks you in and keeps you entirely interested is one of the best things to experience.

Some say that the purpose of a book or even a song is to be immortal. In a sense, it’s true. Books are printed long after the author has died, and songs are played, sang, and remembered even after that artist falls off the top charts. However, there are books that were once printed, but are no longer. While there are many, here is a list of ten books that are no longer printed. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t find them anywhere. Today it seems rather easy to find these books online or at a thrift store.

Note: If you’re looking for a book that is no longer in print, try places such as Amazon Books, Alibris, and Bookfinder.

10. The Principles of Knitting – June Hemmons Hiatt

Not the most exciting book on this list, but The Principles of Knitting is definitely a widely sought after book for those who delve in knitting, or even those who are looking to learn. Those who have used the book or are looking to usually refer to it as the “knitting encyclopedia,” as it seems to cover everything that deals with knitting. June Hiatt goes into very specific details when it comes to the knitting stitch theory and methods of stitching as a whole. It’s been said that Hiatt made an announcement of an improved and newer version of the book in 2000, but as of now, nothing new has been published concerning the book.

9. Dear and Glorious Physician – Taylor Caldwell

The book Dear and Glorious Physician tells of the story of St. Luke, explaining the story of his life. Taylor Caldwell and her husband both contributed to the book and between the two of them over 1,000 sources were used in order to collect and prepare to write. Not only is there a story of St. Luke’s life, there is also a foreward which gives a lot of biblical history in order to understand the story. The book was first published in 1959, and by May 1973 had sold 1.5 million copies. Today, this is a rare book to find as it has been out of print for a long time. Those who have read the book don’t praise it too much, saying that it is too tedious and that the author’s liberal views are too blatantly shown.

8. Dark Carnival – Ray Bradbury

Dark Carnival is a series of short stories, 27 to be exact, that were first published in October 1947. Arkam House published 3,112 copies of the book, and some of the short stories had been published by a different company. After publishing his first book, Bradbury permitted the book to be reprinted for a long time. Even though the original book is no longer in print, Bradbury has allowed certain companies to reprint certain short stories within the book. Since some of the versions have been updated, they’ve been republished. In fact, Gauntlet Press printed a limited edition book with five extra stories in 2001. In 2006, Bradbury allowed for one of his short stories, called “The Homecoming” to be reprinted with illustrations.

7. Raven: The Untold Story of the Reverend Jim Jones and his People – Tim Reiterman

Raven: The Untold Story of the Rev. Jim Jones and His People, written in 1982 by Tim Reiterman, tells the background and story of the Jonestown massacre. Reiterman was a victim of the massacre, but was only injured, unlike hundreds of others who died. The novel explains the Jonestown massacre thoroughly, and allows to reader to take in the story. Reiterman allows the reader to see just how one man could brainwash and deceive so many people and then lead them to commit such a disaster. Many also believe that the book serves as a warning, as it shows that many people, with seemingly good intentions, often times have malicious ones that won’t turn out positively. Most importantly, the book recognizes the horrible crime that went on, and serves as a piece of history and remembrance of the victims.

6. Mary and Vincent Price – A Treasury of Great Recipes

If you’re a chef or interested in fine food, this is the book for you. But in today’s world, it is extremely hard to find as hardcopy. Mary and Vincent Price’s Come into the Kitchen Cook Book ( A collector’s treasury of America’s great recipes), including recipes from some of the top rated restaurants in the world, was published in 1995 and has since gone out of print. Not only does the book offer recipes for readers to enjoy, but there are also reviews and heavy background information about some of the greatest restaurants found all around the world. Some of the recipes provide an easy dish to make, while others take hours to prepare and cook correctly. Many compliment the book in the sense that it provides so much higher-up cooking techniques yet isn’t intimidating to delve into.

5. Marilyn: A Biography – Norman Mailer

Just as the title of the book says, this piece of literature tells all about Marilyn Monroe’s life. MARILYN : A BIOGRAPHY OF MARILYN MONROE [ 1st ]was written in 1973 by Norman Mailer, the book focuses on Marilyn Monroe’s time, especially during the Great Depression and WWII. He points out how she was not only a sex symbol, but one with great talent and an idol to many women who represented independence and importance. Mailer provides the tales of Marilyn’s early life, growing up in poverty and rising from it, while also dealing with a hard struggle to figure out who she is. He also has heavy focus on her road to stardom, particularly focusing on the rocky times. The book has been out of print for awhile, and is often sold at high prices.

4. Legally Sane – Jon K. Hahn

Legally sane [by]Jon K. Hahn with Harold C. McKenneyis a captivating tale of a serial killer named Mark Smith, who in fact is a real serial killer. There is no number given as to how many people he has killed, but most were women from different countries, including Germany, Korea, and the U.S. during the 1960s-1970s. The novel, written by Jon Hahn tells of great description and detail of Smith’s killing spree and with the help of Smith’s attorney, the book is able to show the facts of Smith’s crimes. The book focuses on Smith’s lack of remorse or care, as well as his psychopathic personality. However, today the book is no longer in print.

3. In God’s Name – David Yallop

David Yallop, a Roman Catholic author, after extremely exhaustive and never-ending research, wrote a book, In God’s Name: An Investigation Into the Murder of Pope John Paul I, about the murder of Pope John Paul I, also known as Albioni Luciani, after many in Vatican City requested answers. In the book, he describes the murder, and all of the suspicion that surrounds his death still. Pope John Paul I died 31 days after his election as pope. Yallop, with help from his research, talks of the cover-ups and odd but true circumstances that surrounded the pope’s death. He is even able to show a corrupt chain of worldwide leaders who somehow conspired within this death. Today, the original version of the book is no longer in print, but there is a new version available for people to read.

2. Nora Roberts – Promise Me Tomorrow

As an author, Nora Roberts is the one who made the decision to stop the printing of her novel Promise Me Tomorrow (Rocky Mountain Memories #4). First printed in February 1984, Promise Me Tomorrow isn’t like other books Nora Roberts has written and is said to be one of her most widely sought after books. The novel tells of a romance among coworkers Sarah Lancaster and Byron Lloyd. Sarah relocates to Phoenix in order to live out of her dream of becoming a well known architect. Sarah and Byron have a connection early on, but the road isn’t easy for them. Circumstances eventually separate them, but the two meet again and marry, but definitely are off to a rocky start. Because it is out of print, and has been for nearly 25 years, the book isn’t easily found, but many are able to sell it for about $135.

1. Madonna – Sex

Released on October 21, 1992, Madonna’s book entitled Sexis considered to be a highly designed coffee table book that is full of pictures as well as literature. It tells the tale of a woman named Dita Parlo, whom Madonna adored. However, the book was highly criticized after many took a look at what was actually inside of it. Many see it as a book with softcore pornographic pictures, mostly depicting sexual acts. Because of this, the book is banned in some places, and today is no longer printed. During its first release, the book was printed in 1.5 million copies in the U.S. alone. It sold 150,000 in the U.S. on its release date. The book was printed in English, Japanese, France, and Italian, but never released in Spanish, Russian, or Thai. In Japan, the book was banned a week after it was released. Today the book is highly valuable and many unopened editions are worth about $250, compared to its original price of $49.50.

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4 Comments

  1. "Chieftains" by Bob Forrest Webb is another rare book. It sells for hundreds of dollars. It is about a ficticous World War III in the 80's. I lucked out and was able to snag a copy on ebay for only $4.67.

  2. My library owns two copies of Sex. I've seen them. One is in the original packaging. They are in a special room in the first lower level of the library.

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