I recently went digging to try and find a book I could only vaguely remember from my younger days. I was a teenager and the book was actually in the teens section of the library instead of the adult Sci Fi/Fantasy sections I’d come to frequent back then. I was only just delving into the teens section after reading every Star Wars novel they had and was disappointed by the YA selection of related materials, but I found another book to tide me over at the time.
It was the second book in the series, I remember. Six books total. There were these boys who had crashed on a deserted island, their plane totaled and they soon found they weren’t alone. There was a mad science lab there and strange creatures1 and the boys splitting up was always a bad idea. One of them went rouge, I think. I can’t quite remember all the details. The cover might have been kind of yellow.
I do remember a scene in which a character rather graphically tries to treat an arrow wound to another character. Something about pushing it in and cutting off the shaft of it that I remember more as the feeling I got from reading it than what actually happened.2
I think I’ve finally found that old series. My library only had three or four of the books. They were missing volumes 1, 3 and possibly 4, so imagine how excited I was to finally get a lead on this series that I could remember no specific details from after so many years!3 It’s a series called Escape from Lost Island by Clay Coleman. And now that I’m an adult with my own money to spend, I can finally get the books and read the whole damn thing after all these years!
One problem. It appears to be out of print.
I have tried Amazon and it returned several results that look like they probably are not in actual possession of the book. There appears to be no one who has turned the series into a digital copy so that I can legally download it from anywhere. The internet has not given me a lead yet as to where I can find these books.4
Even now as I make plans to start hunting through used book stores to try and track the books down, I can’t help thinking that this is a problem that’s been mostly eliminated in modern publishing. Almost every book that comes out these days are immediately digitized and put on the ebook stores. There’s print on demand options for books if you can get your print rights back after the publisher decides not to print your book anymore.5 Out of print is becoming a thing that doesn’t exist anymore.
Until this, I’d forgotten how difficult it is to find a book that’s out of print. It’s just something that I forgot could even happen. I am having trouble even tracking down the author on social media. Maybe he’s the same guy that wrote the book on diving, but I really don’t know.
I, for one, am really glad that this isn’t going to be a problem going forward. I like being able to dig up books from my past and rereading them to see if they are like I remember them. In the mean time, though, I am looking up every used book store in the lower mainland and going to try and find these books now that I remember what they are.6
- Might have been zombies. Might have been mutants. I can’t quite remember [↩]
- I suspect this was what led me to enjoy some of the gorier scenes in novels in the future and why they occasionally come up in my own. [↩]
- Seriously, every “Boys plane crash on deserted island novel” search turns up Lord of the Flies [↩]
- Not even the… less than legal options are of any help on this one [↩]
- And, if all else fails, the pirates will probably have it stashed away somewhere [↩]
- At least I think I do. I’m going to be so sad if I track them down and I’m wrong. [↩]