Sunday, July 16, 2023

How to Locate a Hard to Find Book


By Terry Whalin

Several years ago I started writing a daily gratitude journal. I believe each of us as writers need to incorporate gratitude into our lives. For this purpose, I used a blank journal which I picked up at a bookseller convention. With the changes during the last few years, this convention doesnt exist any longer. I am coming to the end of my current journal and needed to locate another blank one. I wanted it to match the others I have used for several years. 

In this article, I want to show the tools and process I went through to find this book. I believe anyone can use this process to locate a hard to find book--and not pay a fortune for it. I use this processs. When Im searching for a book from the library, I use a different process. If you arent going to buy the book, I recommend you get it from your local library--which is an often overlooked option.

Preparation Ahead of Your Search

Before starting my search, I have taken several steps which prepared the way for locating the book. First, like millions of people I am an Amazon prime member which means I get free shipping if I order something directly from Amazon.

Also I am a member in good standing on Ebay. Over the years I have purchased items on Ebay, paid for them properly through PayPal and received a good customer rating on this website. 

Finally I have also purchase books on Barnes & Noble with a solid customer track record. These three preparation steps will play into my results below. I suspect many of you have done these steps for your own online shopping experiences.

My Search for The Hard to Find Book

I started my search on Amazon. Some people stop and start at Amazon for buying books. Im suggesting you take some additional steps. On Amazon, I learned I could purchase a new copy of the book and there were some used copies available. 

Keeping my Amazon tab open, I went to a new tab on my browser and went to BookFinder4U.com. This site compares over 100 online bookstores and ranks them based on the cheapest price combined with the postage. It is my go-to place to find inexpensive books.

For this particular book, the site didnt work for me because the various options and postage appeared too expensive. Instead I typed the title into Google and used the shopping tab to bring up different options. I purchased one copy through Amazon, then I located a second copy on Ebay and purchased it. Finally I found a third copy which I ordered from Barnes & Noble. Each of these books cost different amounts but were relatively inexpensive and are from dependable online retailers which reassure me that I will get what I have ordered in a timely fashion.

A key part of this process is to consider the purchase price of the book combined with the postage. Also I used different online retailers to find what I needed. What am I missing in this process? Or what process do you use to locate a hard to find and purchase a hard to find book? Let me know in the comments below.


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