ISBN Lookup: How to Quickly Identify a Book

One activity we can’t escape is the search for a book. Whether it’s for school or light reading, the time will always come when we need to identify a particular text. And if you don’t want to spend the entire day lost in search, you should learn the ISBN lookup.

Okay, what’s ISBN lookup? And even more, what’s this ISBN we speak of? Got any ideas? Well, why don’t we find out?

What Is ISBN?

It’s pretty simple, actually. Whenever you hear of ISBN, it simply refers to the 10- or 13-digit number found on the back cover of any book. It stands for International Standard Book Number, and as the name suggests, it’s used to identify any published book.

Yes, it’s a number attached to a published book, so you can’t use it for your missing diary. That aside, the ISBN is unique; every book has a unique book number. And that, dear readers, is why the ISBN is the best way to identify a book quickly.

Now, about its location in a book. It’s placed on the back cover’s lower part, just above the book’s barcode. This should help you find it faster.

How Do You Identify A Book Using ISBN?

So, time for the nitty-gritty, here are the simple steps you need to follow when searching for any book.

  • Firstly, on the book website of choice, there lies a search bar at the top.
  • In that search bar, enter the 10- or 13-digit ISBN.
  • Next, click on Enter.
  • What follows next is a list of details about the book in question. These details include the author, edition, publisher, publication date, etc. You even get a list of different offers from different sellers.

And just like that, you have completed the ISBN lookup. Pretty easy, isn’t it?

How Useful Is The ISBN?

Now that you know how to quickly identify a book using its ISBN, you should also know that there are different uses of the ISBN. These include:

  • You can use a book’s ISBN to search for a specific edition or format
  • You can use the ISBN to look up books and their prices for those who wish to sell their old books
  • ISBNs can also be used to check for the updated versions of a book
  • Wholesalers and libraries can also use ISBN as a tool for organizing their book inventories

Tips For Proper Use Of The ISBN

  • Firstly, hardcovers and online editions have different ISBNs so take note when looking up books
  • If you aren’t specific about the copy you want, be sure to add other details of the book, i.e. the author and publisher.
  • You must note that books published before 1970 don’t have ISBNs
  • During your search, avoid using dashes and spaces when entering the digits. Remember, the ISBN is a single number.


There’s no debating the fact that ISBN lookup is the easiest path to identifying the book you need. It’s also incredibly useful for finding a book’s value for those who wish to sell theirs. Therefore, the next time you’re curious about the intricate details of a book, just whip out the ISBN and watch them pop up immediately.

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