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.

11/17/2019 11:13:07 PM

I'm looking for a book trilogy about a high school girl who gets turned by a vampire while walking home. She's visited by the vampire government and falls in love with one of the vampire agents sent to her house. In the series, she learns to get used to her new abilities, hunts down her creator, starts a girl vampire house and maintains a relationship. I know two of the three book titles are called "Fanged" and "Bitten". Please help me find this series! Thanks!

11/17/2019 5:59:08 PM

I’m looking for a story that i might have read in middle school or 1st year of high school literature. Having to do with a cave that people thought had a fire breathing beast that came around the same time midnight, but in the end turns out actually being a train crossing a wormhole thing in time.

11/17/2019 11:20:46 AM

I am a true bookworm! I adore reading books. I can read up to five books in a week (if I had more time, I would read definitely more). I can read not books only: short stories are a great choice to read on the go. But it is an eternal problem to choose something interesting to read here and now. And you know, my interests are connected both with Charlotte Brontë unbelievable novels and articles on websites like So I am reallt thankful for your pieces of advice! Now I have more space for searching the literary works I like and could like. Tastes may differ and really do so, that's life...