Finding Books

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Finding Books about beads, beading techniques and associated crafts is made easier through search engines on-line, at popular booksellers, and in our local libraries. A few tricks for sorting through the new books, the old books, and the enhanced opportunities to view books can be very helpful. Here are some examples for searching and sourcing very good books for Bead Craft.

Finding books becomes even easier as one becomes familiar with favorite artists and authors, aware of specialized publishers, art, craft and beadwork groups that distribute journals, and ever observant of ISBN numbers.

What is an ISBN number? The ISBN number is a code that is unique to the individual book. The acronym ISBN stands for: International Standard Book Number. This is a unique 10-digit code assigned by the publisher to a specific edition of a book before it is published. 159 countries and territories are officially ISBN members so a good many books newly published will have this unique identifier. Entering an ISBN number into an online store's search field will return that specific book. (on an internet search engine, such as http://www.google.com enter the acronym ISBN first and then the number.) If a friend suggests a great new book, say thank you - and what's the ISBN number? Other helpful title identifiers are the Library of Congress Catalog Control Number (LCCN) and the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN), both of which can be helpful in library searches (see below).

One quick note: Amazon has their own Amazon.com Standard Item Number (ASIN), which they use for every item in their online catalogs (DVD, VHS, consumer electronics, etc.) for Books they use the ISBN number as their ASIN.

What is a KEYWORD? A Keyword is a word or phrase that relates to the topic or category. The word is used to focus the search and respond with book that may have that word in the book title or description. To do a keyword search type the word or phrase into the search field and click ENTER (or START, or GO). It is as if you told the search engine how to find a book by looking under that heading.

Affil-Powells Books Affil-Amazon Books Affil-Amazon-UK Affil-Alibris Books

Website Searches at an on-line bookstore can be done by the book’s title, by author, or by keyword. If you click through to the advanced search features you could also search by publishing date, such as: all books regarding Beads (or beadwork, or beading) published after 2003. That would return books entering the marketplace this year. Here are a few examples using Powell’s Bookstore, but keep in mind a keyword search could be done on any of the bookstores above, Walmart below (yes, Walmart has books at a discount) or your favorite independent online bookstore. View these searches on keywords: Beadwork; keyword: Beads; keyword: Beadwork.

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Books about Beads include picture books as well as scholarly references. A keyword search on Bead History returns a large number of books. You could narrow the field a bit by starting with a few of the more famous bead researchers such as Horace C. Beck, Peter Frances, Jr.; Robert K. Liu; or Sibylle Jargstrof (many others). Most of the
Bead Museums offer a reading list about their collections; some may even offer back issues of their journals. Beading Techniques Book searches can be narrowed with the name of the beadwork technique, craft or artist. When reading or viewing beadwork notice the stitch name and whether the artist has a website. They may feature their own books, have an online gallery and perhaps a schedule of their shows and seminars. Lastly, the book store's search engines allow a search by publisher. Try such prolific ones such as Lark Books, Interweave Press, Schiffers, and the wonderful Lacis.com

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What are eBooks and eBooklets?
Ebooks are electronic versions of a full print book or pamphlet that are readable using a PC (personal computer), a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) or dedicated ebook reader, along with reader software. Ebooks and ebooklets are available from the websites of many bead artists and bead sellers. They are stable, formatted documents most often in PDF (.pdf) format and usually offered for instant download from the website to your personal computer.

'Adobe Reader'

What is PDF?
PDF (or .pdf) is an acronym for Portable Document Format. PDF is a universal file format easily read and printed by users on a variety of computer and platform types. Adobe Acrobat Reader, is free software used to read PDF documents. It is free, available completely without charge for fast and easy download; just click on the icon to reach their website http://www.adobe.com

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What is a CD book?
PDF documents can be recorded to a Compact Disk (CD). A full print book, smaller booklet or group of patterns are recorded (burnt) to a Compact Disk and read on your computer using the free Adobe Acrobat reader. This is one common form of an electronic book, wonderfully accessible!

Find OUT of PRINT Books at Alibris using their Book Fetch service. If you've done a search on their site without finding what you want, click on BOOK FETCH and enter the principal information: author, title and if you have it, the ISBN number. You can also indicate type of binding and what you are willing to pay (although all this extra information is optional) Then add your email address and they will contact you when the book is located. You may find a reasonably priced copy of Bead Embroidery by Joan Edwards this way (there are deals out there, particularly if you are willing to accept a used book). Powell's Bookstore also has a 'Notify Me' service for hard to find books. Type in book title and author, other information if you have it, your email address and they will contact you when they have the book. Quite a kind and useful service. There is no obligation to purchase the books when found. I would feel remiss if I did not also mention the very helpful Hard to find Needlework Books In their 26th year of selling books on all forms of the needlearts. Catalogs on in-print, out-of-print, and rare books are issued regularly on specialized topics as: needlepoint, knitting, crocheting, cross stitch charts, sewing, fashion, weaving textiles, doll making, lace and lace making, old craft magazines, trade cards, samplers and ephemera.

And what about cost? We like to view USED books on any of the major booksellers carefully reading the description of the book's condition. In the event an individual seller pricing their used book unreasonably high, we turn to a search engine: either http://www.google.com (type in the letters: ISBN as well as the number) or our current favorite book price search engine: http://www.addall.com to see the prices at several book sellers at once.

When seeking an a book that seems difficult to find online or is overpriced, remember also the tremendous resource available at our Public Libraries, see details below.

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Bead-media presents several pages of bead craft books, and if you purchase, we hope you will do so through our website. Nevertheless research and study can be greatly enhanced by the use of the Public Library, a tremendous resource: free and available to all.

Library Searches are possible with many thanks to Ben Franklin who in 1731 founded the first circulating library (in the USA). One may borrow a book for free, and return it for others to share. Using the Internet, finding books is easy by online search; it's easy to learn of its precise location in the stacks, reserve it and apply for extensions to keep that book longer if need be. To comprehend the vast opportunities at one’s fingertips one need only take advantage of the impressive practice called the Interlibrary Loan. Libraries across the country will lend books and other materials from one library to another. If you don’t find what you need in your local library catalog, ask the librarian if it can be located elsewhere in the national library network. Full information is useful here: title, author (of course); adding publisher, publication date or ISBN number can be helpful as well. We’ve done our best to include ISBN numbers for books mentioned on this website.

The Library of Congress (LOC)

'REF Library of Congress'

format of cataloging is used by most libraries.
The LOC is a splendid destination if you are able to visit Washington, DC. Meanwhile the LOC on-line catalog. is available on the Internet. There you can learn about searching by ISBN (International Standard Book Number), ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) and LCCN (The Library of Congress Control Number), which all help in finding books. In addition, they have a GUIDED SEARCH: Indexes with examples and descriptions as well as a good explanation of a Boolean Search, all of which may be applicable to searching catalogs at your neighborhood library. The Boolean search also useful on Internet search engines.

Call Numbers show where books are located in the library stacks. As an example, the library at the University of California Santa Cruz website has a useful guide on
How to Use Call Numbers, that explains this filing system.

Libraries may have that costly reference, that huge coffee-table tome, or that elusive book out-of-print. Many libraries also have magazines, society journals, photographs, VHS tapes and DVD of exhibits, arts and crafts training.

U.S. Copyright Law Keep in mind that libraries offer public access to materials as a contribution to education and scholarship. Not all materials are in the public domain. That means much of the material may be protected by U.S. Copyright Law. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. You can learn about
Copyright Basics online or read one of the books from our Craft Business page.

Finding books for Beadwork Inspiration becomes easier by perusing the book lists at your favorite Bead Seller, reading the book lists at beadwork websites, and at your Bead Society or Artists' Guild. Crossing over into associated craft is a tremendous inspiration! Beads and embroidery mixed beautifully. What is possible in fabric texture and variety is simply amazing as manifest in Art Quilts, Art Dolls, Surface Embellishment and Wearable Art. The use of multi-media techniques through metal, clays, glasswork is legion; and beads have worked themselves in everywhere.

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'AF-Amazon.com 2x1.5 500 Beaded Objects' Affil-Amazon-Extreme Beauty 'AF-Amazon.com The New Beadwork'


Soak up those coffee table books of fabulous color, texture and unexpected execution. Learn to bead, advance your skills and try new techniques. Look at something old, something new, something unexpected! It will do wonderful things for your own ideas.

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