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.

10/19/2019 12:13:09 AM

Scary children’s book, clothing/coats from a play (maybe) come to life and start killing , woodland animals get angry, purple front cover.... these are the useless clues my wife gave me as she is desperate to find a book she read as a child! Can anyone help? You’d make her (and by extension my) Christmas. Many thanks.

10/18/2019 2:37:45 PM

Hello, I remember this book from my childhood, I was about 18 when I read it,, about 20 years ago, but I don't thin it was a new release at the time, The story starts in the second world war and tells of a jewish boy who escapes to America thanks to another boy, I'm not too sure, I think he was italian,, one of the boy's names is Alesandro, I think. After the story brings us to American and life continues for the two boys... they each fall in love with the same woman and eventually meet up years later... i cant really remember the rest and I would love yo find out the name so that I can read it again... if any one can help me??? the boy that saves the jewish boy becomes a racecar driver

10/17/2019 4:01:14 PM

Hi - I am looking for a book I read 15ish years ago. I believe it was a series of 3 and while I've believed my whole life it was called Glory B, it was not. It centered around a young girl in a small religious town. She and her friend break into the church and drink the wine. Later, her friend drunkenly falls through the ice of the nearby lake and dies. In the tradition of this strange town - the protagonist is made to drink poison and cast out into the woods to die. She survives in the forest and eventually is taken in by a woman or family. Eventually she figures out the poison is not real and she will live, but still cannot return to her town. I must have read this when I was 10 or 11 years old and I've been trying to hunt it down since I was 18. Please help!