In many of the book reviews published in this newsletter, you will read the words, "It can be ordered at most any book store if you specify ISBN 0-8063-5224-8." The numbers will vary, depending upon the book being described. So what is ISBN?
The International Standard Book Number, or ISBN, is a 10-digit code unique to that book edition. Like a barcode number for books, it allows booksellers, libraries, and distributors to keep track of their inventory.
Every book sold has a unique ISBN. This number is divided into four parts:
• Country Identifier - This indicates where the book was published.
• Publisher Identifier - All publishers have individual code numbers.
• Title Identifier - Indicates the particular printing details of the book.
• Check Digit - A single number that validates the ISBN to the tracking machine.
The ISBN number is, in effect, the master catalog number used by all book retailers. You can specify that number on any of the online retailers to find a certain book. The "bricks and mortar" book stores can quickly find a book for you if you know the ISBN number, too.