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.

3/24/2019 3:08:22 AM

I'm looking for a book in which a boy falls asleep on a hill and when he wakes up he is possessed somehow by the spirit of a dragon that has lain dormant for a very long time under the hill. The dragon is supremely evil, I remember, and I think tries to get the boy to do something. I remember there being a description of the boy's eyes feeling red and hot, or the boy feeling hot, or something like that. There is also some tie-in to a Celtic artifact (maybe a cross?) that has been discovered at the local church nearby, and there is public discussion about what to do with the cross/artifact and whether to destroy it. Maybe the cross had been there all along and the community is just now talking about what to do with it. In any case the artifact definitely has something to do with the dragon - maybe unearthing it helped the dragon regain consciousness? It is either a kids' book or young adult book and would have been published at least before 2012.

3/23/2019 12:05:34 PM

I am searching for a book i read when i was younger, in middle school. From what i remember, it was about a young girl from california i think, whose caretaker dies of a stroke, and she is sent to live on a horse ranch, and i believe she’s reluctant at first but eventually bonds with a horse there. I feel like at some point she runs away with the horse, but i’m not sure.

3/23/2019 3:16:13 AM

A book I read YEARS ago, I will write what I can vaguely remember, please bear with me. It was about a mom (A) with a very young son and he was mentally ill, she had taken him to an institution where she befriended another mother(B) in the same situation. I remember something about another child being stabbed, and it was the other mothers (B) son, but they blamed this mothers (A) son. Mother (A) came to find out that mother (B) would whisper trigger words to make her son hurt himself, or hurt others, giving the impression that he had mental illness. Mother (A) decided to investigate and broke into mother (B) home and found fetuses in glass jars or something along those lines..... i believe mother (B) was belived to have munchausens by proxy. Not much else I can give, but I am desperate to find this book