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.

2/20/2019 1:13:41 AM

I am looking for a book that has a couple riding a motorcycle on the front cover and has wind in the title, it seemed kind of an old book.

2/19/2019 10:06:10 PM

Horse book about young girl who lives with grandmother because her mother and father died in car accident. Her grandmother dies and she is sent to live with her mother, Ellie’s, familie’s ranch out west. Aunt sings hear the wind blow, cousin Peyton, plastic horses

2/19/2019 9:13:44 PM

I am looking for a book I read in middle school or early high school. It is about a young girl, I believe both her parents died before the beginning of the book, that goes to life with her uncle at his salvage yard/ junk yard. She calls him "Uncle Dad". At one point in the book he has a stroke. He does survive the stroke.