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.

11/16/2019 9:13:03 PM

I’m looking for a book I read in the mid 90’s. It was a romance novel and the hero was blind, formerly a painter/ artist. His aunt/grandmother plays matchmaker with new girl in town(who was running from her own personal drama - legal issues?) The blind man had a bungalow on the beach. There was another woman trying to win him away. The new girl and blind man get together (possibly marry?) but there are issues. There is a part where she lost an opal ring he gave her in the ocean and goes diving to find it, he was angry she was diving alone. Eventually, he regains his sight.

11/16/2019 7:55:54 PM

There was a made for TV movie in the 1970s called the people. It involved "a young teacher who goes to a remote area to work with a group of individuals who have isolated themselves from civilization and maintained an independent community, vaguely similar to the Amish or a religious commune." (Wikipedia) There was also a BOOK about this (I had the paperback at one time), but I can't remember the title. I loved it and would like to read it again. Does anyone know what it was called, or who wrote it?

11/16/2019 7:07:26 AM

@Cole - Sounds like Great Expectations by Charles Dickens