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.

3/23/2019 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

3/22/2019 6:29:49 PM

@vgarnet the book you're looking for is called Elsewhere, it's by Gabrielle Zevin

3/22/2019 6:14:18 PM

A book I read nearly 20 years ago (probably 2000 or 1999 specifically), most likely a YA novel. It's about a girl who finds a piece of stone, I believe in the trash, and at some point holds it up to a mirror. This transports her into a world made of ice and black water, where she sees beautiful butterfiles, goat-like creatures, and a mysterious boy. She meets a magician/sorcerer who tells her he's trying to save the world (I think) and sends her on a task to find the other pieces of the same stone she uses to travel back and forth through the mirror. In this world made of ice, there are windows that she realizes are mirrors in the regular world. She sometimes watches people through them. Eventually she makes friends with the boy and the magician turns out to be the villain but his machinations do not succeed.