What to do when the library doesn’t have the book you wanted

My library has a really cool offering called Lucky Day. When a book is new and hyped, it can mean months on the holds list. Enter Lucky Day items. The library has a couple copies labeled Lucky Day that can’t be put on hold, and if you happen to stalk the library at the right time and the Lucky Day item is there, you can take it with out waiting. The online catalog even shows which library location has it and if it’s available.

I’ve avoided lengthy waits on anticipated books a few times by getting Lucky Day items. However, there have been a couple times I went to the library the catalog shows as having the book, only to go and not be able to find it anywhere. I’ve learned to just be optimistic but not disappointed if I can’t find it. This happened a few days ago, so I had to quickly change course and find something else to read. Not that I don’t have unread books on my shelf at home, but you know how it is 🙂

So, what’s a reader to do when you can’t find the book you were looking for?

  1. Search for books by the same author, or your go-to author.
  2. Search for books similar to the one you were looking for. My library’s online catalog will do this for you under a tab on the book’s page, but you can google search, or browse the suggestions on Amazon for “Customers who bought this item also bought…”
  3. Look for special collections put together by library staff. On my recent trip to the library, I couldn’t find the books I wanted, so I pulled one from the Best Seller shelf and one from the New Releases shelf. They also had a cute collection of books called The Dog Days of Summer, and it was all books featuring, well, dogs.
  4. Bookstagram, Twitter, blogs….endless suggestions. There will be a lot of trendy new releases your library might not have, but you’ll also find books you’ve never heard of. I like to search #currentlyreading for inspiration.
  5. Put the book you wanted on hold. If they don’t have it yet, suggest a purchase. My library has a tool online to suggest a purchase, but you can ask library staff too.

If there is anything I’ve learned from not getting the book I want, when I want it, it’s that there is always another book. Some of the best books I’ve read were impulse grabs, so don’t be afraid to just go with what the library puts in front of you!

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