How To Find a Book Title When You Don’t Know the Name

There’s hardly anything more frustrating than having a book title right on the tip of your tongue but not being able to say it out loud. In some cases, you may remember the plot but not the characters’ names. In others, you may know what the cover looks like but not remember anything else. Not being able to recall one detail can get on your nerves for days until you decide to give up on your search. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way.

How To Find a Book Title When You Don’t Know the Name

If you’re interested in learning how to find a book title when you don’t know the name, look no further. This article will discuss several online and offline tools that could assist you in your search.

Find a Book Title When You Don’t Know the Name

There are numerous methods for finding a book title when you don’t have all the information. These involve specialized websites, social networks, or casual conversations.

Before we dive into specific solutions, it’s crucial you sit down, focus, and try to remember everything you possibly can. Here are some guidelines that could help:

  • What did the cover look like? Even the color or font size could help you in your search.
  • Do you remember a phrase or a paragraph? A sentence or two that left an impression can be valuable for digging up the book’s title.
  • What do you remember about the plot? The plot’s elements can narrow down your search. Even if you’re not 100% sure of it, it can’t hurt to try.
  • Can you recall the characters’ names? Even if it’s a side character’s name, it can help you filter your search. Think about whether the book is written in the first person, which could narrow down the options.
  • What genre is it? Try identifying it. If you’re unsure, think about the genres the book doesn’t belong to.
  • Do you recall any details? A city’s name, region, or era may seem insignificant but can be tremendously helpful.

Write down this information and start your search using one of the methods we discuss below.

Google Books

Google has designed a specialized service that enables you to find, read, and download thousands of books. Since it works just like a regular Google search, Google Books is easy to use. Here’s how to find a book using this service:

  1. Open your browser and go to the Google Books website.
  2. Enter a keyword in the search bar. This could be a character’s name, phrase, city, etc.
  3. Press “Enter” to start your search.
  4. The results will be displayed. Use the filters below the search bar to narrow them down and get to the book you’re looking for. You can customize what documents you want to appear in the results and the era.

While the search can be successful if you can remember numerous details from the book, it’s often not enough. In that case, you can use Google Books Advanced Book Search. This feature enables you to apply more filters to find the book you’re looking for. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Open your browser and go to Google Books Advanced Book Search.
  2. Fill out some or all of the fields.
  3. Select “Enter.”

Besides choosing what documents you want to search for and the era, this service enables you to look for or exclude particular words or phrases. You can also browse the books by language, subject, author, publisher, or a part of the title.


BookFinder is a website that allows you to search for and buy books online. You can use it to locate the book whose title you can’t remember. Follow the instructions below to do it:

  1. Open your browser and visit the BookFinder website.
  2. Press “Show more options.”
  3. Enter the information you remember, such as the author, publisher, publication year, language, price range, etc.
  4. Press “Enter.”


WorldCat is a website that connects you to the collections of more than 10,000 libraries worldwide. This is the world’s most extensive database of library collections. If there’s a book title you can’t remember, you’ll likely find it here.

Follow the steps below to find a book title using WorldCat:

  1. Launch your browser and go to the WorldCat website.
  2. Select “Advanced search.”
  3. Fill out as many fields as you can remember.
  4. Select “Enter.”

The Library of Congress

With over 100 million items in its collections, the Library of Congress (LOC) is one of the world’s largest libraries. If you can’t recall a book’s title, their website can help you find it:

  1. Open your browser and visit the Library of Congress website.
  2. Press “Search options” on the right of the search bar.
  3. Choose “Advanced search” or “Keyword search.”
  4. Enter the information you remember.


Another excellent tool that can help you find a book if you don’t know its title is BookBub. While the primary purpose of this service is finding new, interesting books to read, you can also use it for searching the title you can’t remember.

The process is fairly simple:

  1. Open your browser and go to BookBub. Log in if necessary.
  2. Search for the book by entering the author’s name, price, retailer, or other information.

Keep in mind you’ll need to sign up for the service if you don’t have an account already. If you already have an account and you’ve marked the finished reads, you can browse the list to find the one you’re looking for.

Social Media Platforms

Nowadays, it’s hard to find a person with no social media profiles. Millions of people log in to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Reddit every day and browse different content, answer questions, share interesting thoughts, etc. You can take advantage of this and turn social networks into a valuable tool in your quest.

There are several ways to use social media platforms for finding a book title:

  • Publish a post – Create a post about the book and publish it on whatever social media you have. It’s likely that some of your friends or followers have read the same book and will be able to help you.
  • Join Book-related groups or discussions – Numerous book-related communities exist on social networks. You can join one and ask whether someone can help you find the book you’re looking for. Don’t forget to write all the information you can remember.

Ask Your Librarian or Teacher

There’s no doubt the internet is a powerful tool and can help you dig up relevant information in a heartbeat. However, sometimes even the internet can’t beat the knowledge of your local librarian or literature teachers.

Don’t hesitate to ask them whether the plot, characters’ names, or whatever information you remember sounds familiar.

No More Book Amnesia

Although finding the title of a book you don’t remember much about can feel like finding a needle in a haystack, it’s not impossible. Nowadays, numerous search engines and online communities can assist you in your search. The search for the book’s title may be frustrating at times, but the feeling of relief once you find it can’t be beat.

We hope some of the methods we introduced worked for you and that you’ve finally found the book title you’ve been looking for.

What is your favorite method for finding book titles? Do you know some that we haven’t discussed in the article? Tell us in the comments section below.

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