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 Bookfinder.com. 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.

Kelly Garrity
6/16/2019 10:19:11 PM

Im looking for a book I read about a girl reluctantly goes with her friends to a cabin in the poconos for the weekend for her friends birthday. they go into the woods and someone comes and murders them. the girl is the only one to survive and now it is years later and she cant remember anything about that night. The story starts to unfold with something about a mental hospital near the cabin and an escaped patient from that night


doc1712
6/16/2019 8:41:42 PM

I’m looking for a book/series of books I recall from the late 80’s/ early 90’s about a fighter pilot in a war in which the United States had been invaded


Camille Rainy
6/15/2019 12:59:42 PM

I'm looking for a book that is about a girl who was in an accident. I think her parents are scientists. She is saved and made of blue or green goo now. Her memory is saved on a computer that she ends up finding. There is something about butterflies I think.