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.

1/21/2019 10:08:00 PM

I'm looking for a book I have read over 15 years ago and can't recall the name. I remember the main character was able to think of numbers in his head and bring up a portal next to him where he would sidestep into it.

1/21/2019 2:36:53 PM

A girl has to move to New York after her home was invaded and soldiers took her family. It was during the war. She has to spend some nights at her school to keep her safe. She then moves to New York lives with her uncle/cousin he takes her shopping gets her new things and a big expensive fur coat from where he works.

1/21/2019 2:36:39 PM

Hello my name is Tatiana! When I was in middle school I remember readings a book that I loved! I do not remember the title or author!! I hope this brief description can help you guys help me find it. It’s a young girl who has to move to New York with a family member after her home in Europe was invaded and her parents were taken away. I remember she had to spend the night at her school to keep her safe. I don’t remember if she had a sister or not. She moves to New York meets her uncle or cousin he takes her shopping and also gives her a nice expensive fur coat. She then moves in with a lady she met. That’s all I can remember! Please email me if you know about it @