How To Find a Book You Can’t Remember the Title Of

Have you been looking for a particular book but its title escapes you? Maybe someone you only met once recommended it, or you heard a quick sound bite about it on TV or the radio, and your interest was piqued.

How To Find a Book You Can’t Remember the Title Of

No matter the reason, there are several ways you can track down and find that book, even if you remember very little about it, including the author’s name

In this article, we’ll discuss several search engines built specifically for book finders and a few suggestions if they fail to do their job.

Details Are the Key

You may not remember the book’s title, but you obviously remember something about it. So, the first step is to dig deep into your memory and recall as many details as possible.

Write down everything you can remember about the book. Things like the genre and approximate year when it was published can assist you during your search. If it’s a fictional book, try to recall any of the characters’ names, or perhaps the plot, something that makes this book unique. Any details you can remember will assist you in selecting the right keywords or phrases you can use when doing an online search.

Google Books

Everyone is familiar with the Google search engine. It’s so popular that “Google it” has become a part of our vernacular. But do you know that there’s a deeper level to the Google search engine? Built especially for book lovers, Google Books is a good place to begin your search.

Just like you would with any search on Google, type in as many details as you can remember about the book. Google will allow you to use 32 keywords, so feel free to include as much detail as you can remember. Your Google Books search will only result in books, thus eliminating a lot of unnecessary search results.

You can also go deeper into Google Books with an advanced search. Here you’ll find more specific search parameters. It’s highly doubtful that you’ll remember a book’s Intentional Standard Book Number (ISBN), but you can perform a search using this identifying information. What’s impressive is that not only can you search for a book by author’s name or by the publisher, you can search by a phrase you remember from the book.


Google isn’t the only search engine in town, especially if you are trying to locate a specific book without knowing its title. It’s best to use all the resources at your disposal, and BookFinder is another tool that could help you with your quest. Simply type in all the keywords and phrases relating to the book you remember and click the search button.


This global giant of online retail services is a wildly popular company that sells everything and anything. Most people looking for an online purchase or information about a product knows to search on Amazon. But did you know that it has a powerful search engine devoted to books?

The Amazon Advanced Book search engine is a powerful tool for finding a book that you can’t remember the title of. You can search by author or publisher and narrow down your search by selecting a subject such as history or romance. Using a keyword search, you can use descriptive words or phrases that best describe the book’s title. If you can’t locate the book here, then it’s probably been long out of print. That doesn’t mean it isn’t available to purchase used, but it could make your search more difficult.

Big Book Search

Another way to find that elusive book is to use a rather interesting search engine called Big Book Search. What makes this one different from most of the others is that your search results will be images of the covers of books that match your search parameters. This unique online tool could help if you remember what the book’s cover looks like. Although this search engine is geared towards searching by author or book title, try searching with keywords or phrases that describe the book you’re looking for.

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is the biggest library on the planet with literally millions of cataloged books. Although mostly utilized by researchers searching for obscure information, anyone can use their online search engine.

As with all search engines, simply type in as many details as you can about the book, hit enter, and cross your fingers. An interesting service that the Library of Congress offers is the “Ask a Librarian” feature. You can send them an email with as many details as you can remember about the book and, perhaps, they can assist you in finding its title.


To tap into the hive mind of the avid book reading community, you could try posting your question on LibraryThing. This unique website could be the key that unlocks the door to the book you’re looking for. Simply create a free account and make a post asking if anyone knows of the book. Unlike using a search engine and being limited to keywords, here you can give all the details from the book that you remember.


Built specifically for locating books, FictionDB is a search engine that can find the book you can’t remember. You can start with a basic search by using the search window at the top of the page. But if you scroll down a bit, you’ll see an advanced search section. Here you can search by the usual criteria, but you’ll also have the option of searching with a summary or description of the book’s plot or content.

Ask in Online Communities and Groups

If, after trying several different search engines you haven’t found the book, there are several other resources you can try. Social media can be a great source of information and an excellent place to ask questions and gather information. If you use Facebook or Reddit, seek out groups that focus on books or reading. Join these groups and post your question there. If the book you are trying to find is a murder mystery or science fiction, look for groups that focus on those types of books.

Libraries and Bookstores

If all else fails and you’ve run dry, you can always go to your local public library and inquire there. Libraries generally employ avid readers, and there’s a chance that someone there knows the book you’re looking for. If not, they may know someone who does.

Small, independent bookstores are also another great source of information. Unlike the major chain bookstores, the small ones usually have a passionate staff whose book tastes can run the gamut. Try visiting one and speaking to them about the book you can’t remember the title of. Someone there may know exactly what you’re looking for.

A Few Details Can Go a Long Way

With so many search engines available, it makes sense to try them all, especially the ones built for finding books. Amazon has a great search engine for book finding, as does Google. Social media groups devoted to reading or a particular genre of books could also provide you with that title you’ve forgotten. Libraries and independent bookstores are also good places to ask.

Have you tried to find a book you can’t remember the title of? Did you use any of the suggestions in this article? Let us know in the comments section below.

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