Buying Books: Amazon Alternatives
The holidays and months of cozy reading are upon us! Whether you're buying books as gifts or treating yourself, you might be wondering, "where can I buy books online that isn't Amazon?"
There are loads of reasons to want to get away from Amazon purchases, though its convenience is undeniable. When it comes to books, those reasons mostly look like:
1. Saving money
2. Supporting local bookstores
So, I'm going to offer some alternatives to Amazon for buying books which are just as convenient, but address those two issues. As with our Amazon links, the links below are affiliate links. This means that Busy Nest News gets a little something if you shop with these links, at no extra cost to you. Thanks.
Thriftbooks.com has been a favorite of mine since my undergrad days when I couldn't afford to spend hundreds of dollars on textbooks. They sell all kinds of used books for as little as $3.99, and shipping is free for orders over $15! ThriftBooks is great for a number of reasons, beyond their great pricing. They're very clear about the condition of their used books; you can buy something that looks brand new with no flaws, something gently used, or something that has writing and highlighting in it. If you love marginalia, the cheaper, poorer condition books might actually be an attraction for you. If you're looking for a gift, a book in "excellent" or "very good" condition will save you a few bucks and look as fresh as any book straight from the bookstore. Additionally, ThriftBooks supports libraries! You can sell used books to ThriftBooks as an individual, but they also have programs for libraries to sell their gently used or duplicate books. This is a great way for ThriftBooks to support libraries AND maintain offerings of rare and out-0f-print books, making it a great resource for book collectors.
If you want to support independent bookstores, but you don't have time to visit them in person, Bookshop.org is where you need to be! They are a nonprofit that maintains an easy to use website for ordering books, but you choose an independent bookstore to support. Basically, they just pass the order on to the local independent bookstore of your choice for fulfillment, so that business gets the profits of your order and you get the convenience of Amazon without the guilt of not shopping local. When I first heard about Bookshop.org, I was amazed I hadn't heard about it sooner! I love supporting local bookstores, but their websites are often clunky and difficult to navigate, and I can't always go into town during their business hours to browse in person. I especially appreciate that Bookshop lets me support bookstores that used to be local to me, but no longer are now that I've moved. If you have a favorite indie bookstore on the other side of the country that you wish you could still support, Bookshop is the way to go!
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Ariel and Brianna are friends who met while working in a library. Now they collaborate to develop life-enhancing book club experiences.
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