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Search Tips

Input Fields

You must provide an entry in at least one input field. The more fields you fill, the more focused your results will be. By cross-referencing multiple fields, you can make your search results as specific as you like. (Please note, however: Though your search results may include several unwanted listings, using only one input field maximizes your chances of locating the desired title.)

Keyword: A keyword can be a subject (chess), a country (France), a movement (feminism) — whatever word or words will help our search engine best identify the books you're looking for. The keyword search sorts through the bibliographic data of more than a million books to match your interests to our inventory. Enter an author's name here and find not only the books that author wrote (as you would by entering the same name in the author field), but also all the titles about him or her.

ISBN: The thirteen-digit (or, prior to 2007, ten-digit) number assigned to each new book in print is its ISBN (International Standard Book Number). Locate a specific edition immediately by searching with the ISBN. If you've got a long list of ISBNs, enter them all in the box (found on the ISBN search page), and we'll search for all of them at once!

Title: Enter all or part of the title of the book here. If the title is quite long or has a subtitle, no need to enter all of it — a few words from the title will likely provide the best results. By checking the Exact Title box, you'll only get books that match exactly what you've entered into the title field.

Author: Enter all or part of the author's name, and find titles written by that author. (Note: To find all titles by and about an author, use the keyword field.)

Publisher: Only interested in the products of a single publisher? Enter that publisher's name here. However, do note that filling out the publisher field alone is not enough information to create a search.

Section: Refine your search further by looking within only one of approximately 200 major sections or one of nearly 2000 subsections. This feature allows you to browse our sections, eliminating the titles outside your realm of interest by tailoring your search with other fields or criteria.

Sorting Criteria

Your search will work just fine if you leave these settings at their defaults. But maybe you'd like to define your search more specifically? For example: Look for only new hardcovers at our Burnside store. Or sort used paperbacks according to price. Adjust as many sorting criteria settings as you like — or leave them just as they are.

Book Class: Here you can search for only new copies. Or maybe you're looking for bargains — then you'll want to choose "Used and Sale." "All," of course, will show you every edition available.

Binding Type: Hardcover, paperback, leather, board books, or "All." Search for DVDs, audio, video, and electronic versions here, too.

Store Location. People in the Portland area often browse our inventory online before visiting our stores. Here, by making a selection, you can narrow your search results to include only those at a specific location.

Arrived Within. Search only among the books we've acquired in the past one or two weeks. Couple this with our Class sort and you can see just the used books, for example, that match your criteria and that we've received in the past one or two weeks — or just the new ones. Catch great deals on your favorite titles as soon as they land on our shelves!

Items Per Page. High quantities may take a bit longer to load initially, but with 10, 25, 100, or 250 titles per screen, you'll save the time of clicking through multiple pages of results. Your preferred setting will depend on the speed of your Internet connection and how you like to browse.


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Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at