Rare books you just had to find?


Well-Known Member
Apr 24, 2017
Have there been books that were hard to find but you just had to track them down regardless of the effort it took? It's easy to do in the internet age but I can think of three books I sought out (before the internet).

The Revolt of the Angels by Anatole France. I could not buy it and it was out of print. Not at my local library. I found a copy in a library search on special order.

I did the same with an obscure 1970s book John Collier's Cinema of the Mind, which was an unproduced screenplay version of Paradise Lost.

Also, I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. Surprisingly this was out of print until the mid 90s. I tried ordering it from a book store and they sent me a graphic novel. Ultimately I found a copy in a public library. Then a Tor Books version came out.


Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2010
Sure have. These women come to mind:

Novels by Phyllis Paul:

Any of Phyllis Paul's Preternatural Novels in Your Local Library?

Books of Ruth Pitter's poetry:

Signed Books

Barbara Greene's Too Late to Turn Back cost me about $25 in the Penguin Travel Library edition:

Penguin Travel Library and other literary travel books

This is an interesting topic, KGeo, and I hope we will see more responses. The books I mention here are all ones I acquired through interlibrary loan and photocopied, or found from online booksellers and bought through the mail. Going back to times long before these, I could mention sending postal inquiries from my home in Oregon to one or two booksellers in England, in the effort to get hold of things by Arthur Machen (notably his autobiograpical works Far-Off Things and Things Near and Far) and Mervyn Peake. ....One of the last things I acquired in this manner rather than through the Internet was the Everyman's Library edition of Gilchrist's Life of William Blake.


Bunny of Wonder
Staff member
Oct 13, 2008
West Sussex, UK
Devil's Tor by David Lindsay. I'd been trying to get hold of a copy (that cost less than £100) for years, and at last someone reprinted one, though still at £40 a pop.

Alas, it wasn't worth the time I spent on reading it, let alone the money.


Well-Known Member
Nov 4, 2008
Working with the Bare Bones of talent
Anton York Immortal by Eando Binder, This book was so dreadfully awful, that in the 60s I gave it to a friend, convinced him it was so worth reading... he gave it back, by slipping it through my door. I gave it back by giving it to his Mother to hand on. Thus started a competition to hand the book back, where you could never use the same method twice. It went on for a long time - my best effort was to go to the motorbike tyre shop, and slip the mechanic the book, so he put in in my friend's topbox when he took his motorcycle in for a service. Took him weeks to find it, as he hardly ever used the topbox. Can't even recall why the competition stopped, but for my friend's 60th birthday I searched the internet for a copy: cost me $30, and the postage from America of $8. As far as I know, he hasn't managed to hand it back yet....

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