Best Beachcombing Books

beachcombing reference books

Beachcombing is a diverse, broad, and interesting subject. The idea of what is a “beach treasure” changes from person to person and region to region. In Michigan, some folks search for Petoskey stones while in southern Florida seashells are coveted. On the world’s beaches, Mother Nature freely offers treasures for us to find. Sea glass, beach glass, seashells, driftwood, shark teeth, fossils, and more are all out there waiting to be discovered! 

With the help of our Beachcombing readers, we’ve compiled a list of books for reference and inspiration. Whether you’re interested in broadening your horizons by learning more about beachcombing and your beach finds, you have a beachcombing collection and don’t know what to do with it, or you’re looking for a great gift for a beach lover, this list of books is the perfect place to start. Look it over and start building your own beachcombing library.

Thank you to Cindy Bilbao for collating the responses from our readers into this organized and comprehensive list of beachcombing books. 


beach a book of treasures

Beach: A Book Of Treasures

Josie Iselin
Learn about our beachcombing finds as well as the science of how they came to be in this book for anyone who values the seashore.

the beachcombers companion

The Beachcomber’s Companion

Anna Marlis Burgard & Jullian Ditner
This is a charming illustrated guide to collecting and identifying shells and other coastal treasures.

a beachcomber's odyssey

A Beachcomber’s Odyssey, Vol. 1: Treasures From A Collected Past

S. Deacon Ritterbush
This beautiful book offers up treasures for the soul with amazing photos and life lessons.

gold beneath the waves

Gold Beneath The Waves: Treasure Hunting The Surf And Sand

Jim Brouwer
Principles in this book will help anyone who wants to use a metal detector to find treasures.

living beaches of georgia and the carolinas

Living Beaches Of Georgia and The Carolinas: A Beachcombers Guide

Blair & Dawn Witherington
This comprehensive guide satisfies a beachcomber’s curiosity. It covers beach processes, plants, animals, minerals, and man-made objects.

washed up flotsam and jetsam

Washed Up: The Curious Journeys Of Flotsam and Jetsam

Skye Moody
The ocean gives up many curious prizes. Walk the coast with the author to understand the mysterious debris that accrues along the tide line.


antique trader bottles 

Antique Trader Bottles: Identification & Price Guide

Michael Polak
The guide is known as “the bottle Bible.” It is a reliable and trusted reference for bottle collecting.

beach stones

Beach Stones

Josie Iselin & Margaret Carruthers
This gorgeous art book and nature guide is a collaborative work by a nature writer and a photographer.

the curious world of seaweed

The Curious World of Seaweed

Josie Iselin & Margaret Carruthers
Take a deep dive into the ocean universe of marine algae.

florida's fabulous seashells

Florida’s Fabulous Seashells and Other Shore Life

Winston Williams & Pete Carmichael
This is a great reference for shells and sea life found in Florida.

fossil shark teeth of the world

Fossil Shark Teeth Of The World

Joe Cocke
Identify your fossilized shark teeth.

pure sea glass identification deck

Pure Sea Glass Identification Deck

Richard LaMotte & Celia Pearson
The perfect tool for sea glass collectors, this card deck shows how to determine rarity of your sea glass.

the pebbles on the beach

The Pebbles On The Beach

Clarence Ellis
A knowledgeable and witty guide to everything you didn’t know there was to know about pebbles and the best pebble-spotting grounds in the U.K.

rocks and minerals guides

Rocks & Minerals Guides

Bob Lynch
Lynch has written numerous identification guides, each specializing in different regions of the U.S.

sea beans from the tropics

Sea Beans from the Tropics

Ed Perry IV & John V. Dennis
This guide about sea-beans, spirula, mermaid’s purses, and other things that float is a great reference book for beachcombers, oceanographers, and botanists.

seashells of the world

Seashells Of The World (A Golden Guide From St. Martin’s Press)

R. Tucker Abbot
Learn to identify, classify, and understand the shells you collect.

the shell collectors handbook

The Shell Collector’s Handbook: The Essential Field Guide For Exploring The World Of Shells

Kenneth R. Wye
This field guide helps you to identify shells in your collection.

what's your poison

What’s Your Poison

Paula Newman
This pocket guide identifies some of the sources of colorful sea glass.

Sea & Beach Glass

 of love and sea glass

Of Love and Sea Glass: Inspirational Quotes and Treasured Gifts From The Sea

Donald Verger
This stunning look at the quiet beauty of sea glass is full of artful images and inspirational quotes.

the lure of sea glass 

The Lure Of Sea Glass: Our Connection To Nature’s Gems

Richard LaMotte & Celia Pearson
This beautiful book includes stories about beachcombing experiences, paired with gorgeous photos.

a passion for sea glass 

A Passion For Sea Glass

C. S. Lambert
An inspiration for creativity, this book will renew your sense of wonder for sea glass.

 pure sea glass

Pure Sea Glass: Discovering Nature’s Vanishing Gems

Richard LaMotte & Celia Pearson
This definitive reference for beachcombers is also a beautiful addition to any coffee table.

 sea glass

Sea Glass

Cindy Bilbao
These beautiful images of sea glass will remind you of the joy of discovery.

 sea glass chronicles

Sea Glass Chronicles

C. S. Lambert
Explore the origins and history of shards you are likely to find between the tides, and enjoy the revelation of overlooked treasures worldwide.

 sea glass hearts

Sea Glass Hearts

Josie Iselin
Enjoy this inspiring collection of sea glass shaped like hearts.

sea glass hunter's handbook 

Sea Glass Hunter’s Handbook

C. S. Lambert
Learn how to locate the best beaches, understand coastal access laws, and determine the value of sea glass.

a sea glass journey ebb and flow 

A Sea Glass Journey: Ebb And Flow

Teri Hall
Accented with stunning photos, this book illustrates the transformative process sea glass undergoes in the ocean. Includes projects for getting creative with sea glass at home.

 sea glass a photographic journey

Sea Glass: A Photographic Journey

Christeena Hockin-Minopetros
Enjoy beautiful photos and quotes from sea glass collectors from around the world.

sea glass rare and wonderful

Sea Glass: Rare and Wonderful

C. S. Lambert & Tina Lam
View some of the rarest specimens of sea glass from the author’s personal collection and read true stories of each piece’s origin.

the sea glass rush

The Sea Glass Rush

Bev Jacquemet
Enjoy this celebration of the world’s most spectacular sea glass.

sea glass secrets

Sea Glass Secrets

Valerie Raudonis
After walking beaches collecting sea glass for decades, Raudonis created this volume of poetry.

sea glass seeker

Sea Glass Seeker

Cindy Bilbao
This book opens up a new world for those on the hunt for sea glass treasures, teaching you where and when to go and what to look for.

the ultimate guide to sea glass

The Ultimate Guide To Sea Glass: Beachcomber’s Edition: Finding, Collecting, Identifying and Using The Ocean’s Most Beautiful Stones

Mary Beth Beuke
This beautiful book helps first-time seekers start new collections and veteran hunters learn more about their collections.


 seashells book


Cindy Bilbao
Like a walk on the beach, this book captures the beauty of shells and the tranquility of the shore. Contains information about shells and collecting.

sea shells book


Josie Iselin
This celebration of the diversity and beauty of nature features exquisite portraits of seashells.


beaches of glass

Beaches of Glass: A History & Tour of the Glass Beaches of Fort Bragg, California

Cass Forrington
Through photos and maps of the coves and beaches of Fort Bragg, you can learn how to plan a hiking or kayak tour to visit them.

 erie wrecks and lights

Erie Wrecks & Lights

Georgann & Michael Wachter
Dive into the myths and realities of shipwrecks in the Great Lakes.

james marino glass beach fort bragg book

Glass Beach

James Marino
A field survey of the beaches of Fort Bragg Beach, California, written by an archaeologist.

glass beach

Glass Beach: A Sea Glass Lover’s Paradise

Lisa D. Walker
Learn the history of Fort Bragg Beach in California, known for its sea glass-covered shore.

pocket guide to seaham sea glass beaches

Peblsrock Pocket Guide To Seaham and Nearby Sea Glass Beaches

Paula Newman
Designed in response to the many questions Paula gets from visitors to her local beach in North East England, this guide covers history, colors, and techniques. 

santa cruz sea glass

Santa Cruz Sea Glass: The Story Behind The Treasure

Krista Hammond
Learn about the unique beach glass from Davenport, California.

thames sacred river

Thames: Sacred River

Peter Ackroyd
Explore the Thames River from source to sea, from prehistoric times to present day.

walking the jurassic coast

Walking The Jurassic Coast: Dorset and East Devon: The Walks, The Rocks, The Fossils

Ronald Turnbull
This guide contains 30 walks that will help you discover the best and most spectacular areas of the Jurassic Coast, a geological wonderland.

Arts and Crafts

the art of sea glass

The Art Of Sea Glass

Tina Lam
Sea glass and other elements create whimsical scenes captured in the photos of this book.

coastal crafts

Coastal Crafts: Decorative Seaside Projects To Inspire Your Inner Beachcomber

Cynthia Shaffer
Learn projects that incorporate seashells, sea glass, and a range of nautical materials and motifs.

 organic wire and metal jewelry

Organic Wire and Metal Jewelry

Eva M. Sherman & Beth L. Martin
Incorporate gemstones, crystals, sea glass, and pearls into jewelry using these instructions and photos. 

drilling sea glass

Peblsrock Pocket Guide To Drilling Sea Glass

Paula Newman
Contains instructions and photos that will guide you through the process of drilling a hole into sea glass for making a pendant or earrings.

sailors' valentines

Sailors’ Valentines

John Fondas
Directions and guidance for creating your own Sailors’ Valentines.

sea glass crafts

Sea Glass Crafts

Rebecca Ruger-Wightman
This book includes 20 step-by-step projects to create beautiful works with your collection of sea glass.

sea glass crafts

Sea Glass Crafts: 28 Fun Projects You Can Make At Home

C. S. Lambert
Filled with inspiration and step-by-step instructions, this book helps you turn your seaside treasures into home décor.

sea glass jewelry

Sea Glass Jewelry: Create Beautiful and Unique Designs From Beach-Found Treasures

Lindsay Furber & Mary Beth Beuke
Create your own wearable keepsake. Color photos and step-by-step instructions will help you learn the essential skills needed to create beautiful accessories.

shell chic

Shell Chic: The Ultimate Guide To Decorating Your Home

Marlene Hurley Marshall
This book helps you learn how to use shells to bring a sea-infused decorative flair to your home.

windows to the past

Windows To The Past: Creating Sea Glass Mosaic Art

Jackie Trimper
Have you ever asked yourself “what am I going to do with all this sea glass?” Learn how to create your own sea glass mosaic with this step-by-step guide. 

Are we missing any of your favorites? 

There are always great new beachcombing books coming out—and classics from long ago—that people have in their beachcombing libraries. If we didn’t list one of your favorites, let us know in the comments below. We will keep the list updated to include popular suggestions and provide links to find the books online.

Happy reading!

Quick note:  Please support your local bookstore or beach shop by purchasing these books in their store. We have provided links to purchase these books online, some of which are on As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases made when you purchase using our links. This doesn't change your prices. Please feel free to purchase items wherever it works best for you. Thanks!

1 comment

My coffee table book is ‘For The Love Of Sea Glass – A Love Story’ by Guy Cash Fleming.
A beautiful book!

- Lisa

Handmade Jewelry Haven

Lisa Verde October 21, 2019

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