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.

9/19/2018 9:09:04 AM

Looking for a book that I read in my sophomore or Jr year of high school. All I can remember is it started in a village that was shot down, but a few escaped including this boy. The book is about a desert (I think) where people walked for months to safety to escape. I'm pretty sure it took place in Africa and is a non-fiction book. Please answer quickly! email me at

9/16/2018 6:40:49 PM

I’m looking for a book that was written in the last 3-4 years- a true story- by a M.D. that ended up working at a Children’s Hospital back East. Actually he became the administrator of the hospital and his book is a series of stories about all of that. Poignant and educational- it emphasizes how a child needs to be treated at a child’s hospital because a child’s organs are different than an adult’s organs. He tells us of the miraculous healing properties of a child’s organs and how in an adult hospital they rush in to operate when he would often wait a tiny bit longer just in case the healing properties of youth might work. He tells us about one client whom rallied in the face of impossible odds again and again and again to reach adulthood. He spoke of making decisions about a very young patient with the idea in mind of- how will this affect this patient when S/he is 18/25/etc....not just affect S/he now. He spoke about having lifelong relationships with his very injured patients. He spoke about fund raising. All the special needs a hospital like his had and how he had to go about getting those needs met. He spoke about being mentored by the previous Administrator not really knowing what he was walking into. He spoke about it being a calling not a job. At the end of the book was a chapter advising parents on what, where and how to get what they needed for their children should the need arise. An awesome book I lent to my client that was not returned that I need to repurchase so I once again have it in my library. Can any of you out there help me locate this amazing book? I would be so appreciative. I do not know the name of the author, title or publisher. I am so sorry. I’m thinking it might have been called “Heal” ????Probably not accurate. Contacted me at

9/16/2018 5:58:18 PM

I’m looking for a non-fiction book written by an MD who was an administrator of a children’s hospital back East written in the last 3-4 years. It is poignant and contains a series of stories of different situations and miraculous clients who survived insurmountable odds. He speaks about how children’s organs are different than adult organs and therefore needed to be treated as such. He spoke about how Adult surgeons are quick to cut and remove whereas at his Children’s Hospital they will wait that extra moment to see if that truly needs to happen. He spoke about seeing every client holistically by looking ahead to where that client might be at age 18 or 25 or .... prior to commencing with the current procedure to see how it might affect their life. He spoke about having a lifelong relationship with each client that stepped through their doors. He spoke about one client who had horrific medical issues which required inventive surgical interventions. He spoke of that clients’ miraculous disposition each and every time he interacted with him well into that client’s adulthood. He spoke about his fundraising efforts. About one donor whose child he had helped and how he gave back to the hospital. He spoke about the hospital never having enough funds for what they needed. He spoke about the previous administrator being his mentor. At the end of the book he was so generous as to provide a chapter on where, when and how’s of getting treatment for your own child shou you so need it. I lent this book to one of my clients and never got it back. I do not know the author’s name, title or publisher. I so appreciate your help in aiding me to find this information out. Thank-you. My email is