KEYS TO FINDING YOUR FORGOTTEN BOOK
* Since this site is a work in progress , it’ll be some time before you’ll be able to see all book descriptions and eventually see categories to help you find your forgotten book with more
ease – especially if you have certain traits that you remember ; basic plot descriptions or themes – like summer camp or romance. Until then here’s how I do – the hard way!
There are five sites I love and use – Ebay , Amazon , Abe.com , Paperback Swap and Bookfinder. First off make a list of what you remember about the book – characters , possible author , cover art , plot. Each of these sites will have strengths and weakness’ in narrowing your search. For instance – Abe.com doesn’t have a category to separate teen books from adult fiction, while Amazon has a teen category search – however Amazon wants an exact publishing date while Abe.com allows you to search in between publishing dates.
1. The easiest way to search is through Google or any search site and type in what you know – for example – say you’re book is Blubber by Judy Blume but you’ve forgotten the title and author – you type in bullied overweight kid book , you might even type in 80’s overweight – but don’t stick with the same words , you have to mix it up and even if you don’t like the term fat kid – use it – not everyone on the internet is polite! Ramble a bit – type in key words always throwing the word book after it , or if you know the plot make it sound as much like a description Amazon would use!
2. Your Google search has failed – oh well – move on to tip number 2 open up several tabs on your browser – go to abe.com hit advanced search – now the same wording probably won’t work because sellers don’t always type in descriptions. The advanced search gives you oodles of options but don’t narrow it down too much. In fact the broader your terms the easier it will be – but if you don’t include a publisher remember to include clues like – teen , ya, young adult juvenile.
– Think publishers – I gave you a list on my Cliquey 3 page https://cliqueypizza3.wordpress.com/2010/02/11/80s-publisher-logos-how-to-spot-an-80s-teen-book/ however sellers won’t type in an apple paperback ( for example – The Computer that Said Steal me – by Elizabeth Levy is clearly an apple paperback – ) they’ll type in the origin publisher not a books sub classification – technically – apple is a scholastic book so always type in scholastic , but what about Point fiction? – start with scholastic but you can also type in Scholastic Point – but never type in Point by itself you risk never finding your book
– Here’s a list of options :
* Scholastic point
* Dell ( instead of Dell yearling ( though you can try it )
* Laurel Leaf ( technically dell is the origin of Laurel Leaf – but I’ve noticed some sellers don’t acknowledge that so try both! )
* Fawcett first – then try Fawcett Juniper or vice versa
* Gulliver ( rather than Especially for girls ) – however Gulliver is a division of Knopf and the book will most likely be punched in as Knopf – ( this is where another tab comes in handy – say you believe your book is an especially for girls book – open Paperback swap – get off the opening page by typing in any book till you have the side search. Go to genre, pick teens or children – start with teens first – it eliminates a lot of picture books then type in knopf in keywords and go to publication date – pick <= which is before the date and then select a date you know it couldn’t go past say 1992 keep all book style options open and you should get a pretty good results list. ) If you try typing in Knopf in abe without typing in Ya , teen or childrens – you won’t be able to eliminate the adult fiction so you’re results will be in the hundreds of thousands!
* Avon – like Fawcett Juniper is one you’ll possibly have to try both – Avon and Avon Flare or even Avon Camelot- know that some will type in Avon and some Avon Flare and even Avon Camelot- this is where Paperback swap comes in handy as there’s the genre tab to pick children or teens – unlike Abe. which you have to count on that the seller recognizes it as ya , children’s or teen when you put that in as a subject. Also when you get a book you can click on and hit the highlighted publishing logo.
* Pocket ( Go with Paperback swap to eliminate adult fiction ) not Arch Pocket
* Simon Pulse ( rather than Archway – ) although you can try Archway – Simon Pulse however is the origin
* Vagabond – a division of scholastic – if the mark looks familiar try it – or still with scholastic – or Vagabond Scholastic
* Putnam ( try paperback swap for this as abe will have too high results including all putnam fiction )
3. Another way to search is to set publishing limits – abe has the best limits – you can pick a starting date say 1984 and an end date say 1990 – always give yourself some breathing room – for instance if you know you read the book when you were 12 and you were 12 back in 1987 – you know the book couldn’t have been published in 1988 – therefore you have an end date however if you assume because you got it at the library that the book is only a few years old you could be discounting the fact that the book could’ve been sitting there for ages! Only a handful of authors like Judy Blume have books that are constantly republished and are easy to bump into but obscure authors and books need a basic date – start with a 4-5 year span around you’re ideal date.
4. Subject tips – this is usually for narrowing stuff down because if you don’t work the wording right you’ll get frustrated – type in camp ( in abe ) and see what happens – tons of last names crop up! Try pairing it with a publisher. If you have the time and believe me you’ll need it this way – open up an Amazon.com tab – go to advanced search – try typing in say summer camp but pick teens – you’ll get a healthy list however you may not see your book right away, here comes the fun part – there’s a little drop down thing – offering -sort by – pick publishing date – you’ll have to work your way backwards to get to your date 80’s early 90’s!
The long shot – Bookfinder – go to search options – type in a subject , click first edition , stick with softcover and used out of print. This will yield a pretty big list but the bonus is not as many duplicates as other searches.
5. Know the author? You’re half-way there but maybe you don’t see it on the Amazon list and going through Abe.com with all it’s duplicates would take too long – try bookfinder.com or librarything.com – librarything has tons of covers to jog your memory. And if a book cover or title sparks your memory – type it in Amazon chances are there will be a description.
6. Ebay – a bit of a long shot. Can be used if you have an author and it can also be used if you haven’t got a clue! This is when you’re just searching – my brother used this to find an old space station children’s book he remembered reading from the 70’s – he was able to recognize it by cover. Type in some broad info – like teen romance but don’t narrow the categories! Ebay sellers are notorious for not putting things in the proper categories and a teen book might easily be put in fiction & literature or wholesale lots. It’s difficult to search by date type in 1981 and you’ll be swamped by Sesame Street story books and other children’s fare.
7. If all else fails – ask! Go to several book sites , or book discussion groups – like Good reads that feature the kind of book you’re searching for and give the most descriptive clues about the book that you can recall – include everything, no matter how minor! A characters name , the color of a book , plot clues , a logo , especially a date , ( remember no one knows your age on the internet – they may be thinking 80’s book when it’s more early to mid 90’s – miss by an inch miss by a mile ) don’t forget to stop by to see if anyone has found it and let them know if they did!