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.

11/14/2019 4:38:01 AM

I’m looking for a very old small (emphasis on small) book that has multiple short ghost stories in it. Including the lady in white on the highway, and the headless queen I’ve been looking for it for about 5 years now. I can’t for the life of me remember the name but I can remember some of the cover image in my mind had the queen(headless) a big old castle in the top corner and possibly (not absolutely sure) maybe even edgar allan poe because I think it included one of his stories possibly.

11/14/2019 4:02:05 AM

The information I have on book I'm looking for is very limited. It's a children's book about a dinosaur and I think he had a babysitter that he was trying to scare all night to no avail. I don't remember very much more other than this. I was a young kid when I read this so it was published sometime from the mid 90s or earlier. I could've sworn it was a red cover but I really don't remember. Any information would be a huge help.

11/13/2019 9:15:40 PM

Romance novel about a celebrity and his ex who get kidnapped and placed on an island while being held for ransom. He uses his skills to build them a hut of some kind and they bathe in a waterfall. And eventually he woos her once again and they make love throughout their time on the island. They signal a boat or plane or something and get saved from the island.