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.

Kaitlyn Barnes
12/5/2020 4:33:06 PM

i’m looking for a book all i can remember is the kids in the town are test subjects in this “fake city” and there is law enforcement called purple people and the main character is a boy that figures out that he is living a fake life and his parents give him pills every night and eventually he escapes the town.


Izzybrella
12/5/2020 3:36:58 PM

I'm looking for a ya novel where the girl dies in a pool and then goes to a boarding school for kids in limbo and doesn't know she is dead.


kittkate
12/5/2020 10:30:02 AM

Looking for a book that I loved as a kid, it's either after a nuclear explosion or apocalypse but either friends or family leave their bunker after the explosion to find life and supplies. I remember a scene where they enter a random house and inside they find an infected person and I remember bugs being used as biowarfare