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.

Sweattfamily5
10/11/2019 9:32:33 PM

My sister and I were recently discussing some books we remember as kids (80's- early 90's.) One book she remembered that I had no recollection of (possible, later 1990s) was a fiction children's storybook about why dogs sniff each others butts. Something to the effect of they went to a party and hung their tails up and something happened and they grabbed the wrong tails, so they are always smelling, to see if it's their tail. I'm also looking for a young adult book I remember as child (early 90's) that was about a ghost. It seemed like it was a young man's name + Ghost (i.e Samuel's/Charlie's/Oscar's Ghost). Nothing I've found in searches, come up. Also looking for another kids book about tooth fairies and how they change to look like the parent if they get caught to not scare the child. Possibly early 2000s or late 1990s. Can anyone help find these?


Whereisnoland
10/11/2019 2:38:06 PM

I read a book in middle school or high school about these kids who had to raise themselves after their parents had gotten ill and passed. It wasnt just one group of kids who parents had passed, but all adults over a certain aged had died....leaving kids, maybe 15 or younger to survive on their own. This book has been on my mind for a long time and I fear I will never find it again to read and enjoy. Any help would be awesome!


Whereisnoland
10/11/2019 2:38:06 PM

I read a book in middle school or high school about these kids who had to raise themselves after their parents had gotten ill and passed. It wasnt just one group of kids who parents had passed, but all adults over a certain aged had died....leaving kids, maybe 15 or younger to survive on their own. This book has been on my mind for a long time and I fear I will never find it again to read and enjoy. Any help would be awesome!