How to Find That Book You've Spent Years Looking For

Between libraries, the web, and rare book stores, near-forgotten books are easier than ever to find.

| November-December 2003

  • Photo by Fotolia/Pink Badger

Searching for a book you remember reading as a child, college student, or happy dropout, but haven't seen anywhere since? On the Web, there are now numerous ways to expand your hunt beyond Amazon. Abebooks is a consortium that connects you to thousands of used-book stores around the world. Another search site is the Berkeley-based You can also search a growing number of individual stores online, including the Portland-based Powells and Bolerium Books in San Francisco, which specializes in rare books on labor issues and radical history.

Utne Reader Bookshelf

Meanwhile, your local library can be a great help, too, thanks to a practice called interlibrary loan. Libraries across the country will lend you books and other materials, creating a vast collection that's easy for you to access. Here's how: If you don't find what you're looking for in your library's catalog, ask a librarian to locate it elsewhere in the huge national loan network. Tell the pros as much about the book as you can. Title and author are most important, but publisher and publication date (or even a good guess at it) can be helpful too. They'll do the rest.

7/8/2020 5:46:53 PM

Looking for a kids' chapter book where the mom is an artist and the family lives in the woods and the kids find trolls or gnomes who live underground and build traps and things to keep humans away.

7/7/2020 5:27:12 PM

Looking for a novel where a man courted a woman and they got married. On their wedding day, she caught her husband in an embrace with his sister in law. His brother was a cripple and he died later in the book in a car accident. During the funeral, he consoled his sister in law and ignored his wife. She left him after that but he came back a year later to look for her.

7/7/2020 9:41:10 AM

The main character is a girl covered in tattoos. She strips for a living and one night she meets a man who she banters with instead of giving a private show. She soon gets sent back to high school and it ends up this man in now her teacher. This may have been a Wattpad novel? I can't remember